Fernando Abad is no longer in the running for the SP5 spot, according to Zach Levine.
“In the meetings that we’ve had, we think that the role that he’s capable of playing in the bullpen as a key lefty for us probably takes precedent at this point in his career. That doesn’t mean that at some point he isn’t going to be a successful starter, but for the time being, we’re going to focus on him as a reliever.”
So that leaves the candidates for SP5 as such:
Rule 5 picks Lance Pendleton and Aneury Rodriguez, as well as Ryan Rowland-Smith, Nelson Figueroa, and Jordan Lyles.
I'm not sure how I feel about this. The Astros do already have two lefties in the rotation with Happ and Wandy (and Rowland-Smith is a lefty), but Abad dominated in the Winter Leagues this off-season. It is comforting to note that the Astros haven't completely ruled Abad out for the rotation. Ah, so be it.