The Astros have released Zach Duke and Jack Cust, according to Alyson Footer.
Honestly, it was easy to see this coming. I texted my cousin, a Braves fan, on Sunday afternoon and said that the Braves should be charged with murdering Zach Duke's career. In the previous post, we looked at Duke's stats, and his outing on Sunday sent his ERA up to 11.30 - and judging from Sunday's start (which I watched), he was lucky that's as high as it went.
Cust had one hit - a single - in 25 ABs this Spring. That's pretty much all you needed to know. Cust signed a two-year contract with the Astros - $600,000 (not-guaranteed) for 2012, and a guaranteed $1m option, if it was exercised.
Duke's contract was a minor-league deal, so there should be no major financial impact.
Also, it appears as though Jon Gaston has been released, as well. Gaston was the Astros' 7th Round pick in 2008, and busted out in 2009 - his 2nd year of pro ball - with Lancaster, hitting .278/.367/.598, with 35HR (tied for minor-league lead) and 100RBI. 81 of his 144 hits in '09 were for extra-bases. In the last two seasons - both with Corpus - he posted OPSeses of .720, and .646, respectively, striking out 212 times to 74 walks (he drew 71 walks in 2009 alone).