Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Six More Mailed to Minor League Camp in Two Further Culls

In a busy day for reassignments, the Astros reassigned six more players in Minor League camp in two separate bursts.

Firstly, they reassigned Brady Rodgers (who allowed 6 runs in three-and-one-third) and optioned Michael Feliz, Vincent Velasquez and Ronald Torreyes to the Minor League camp.  Those last three players had divergent Major League camps, and probably all feel differently about their exits.

Michael Feliz performed strongly, throwing three shutout innings, allowing one hit and one walk, while striking out three.  He sat in the high-90's with his fastball.  Jeff Luhnow indicated that he could see the Majors later in the year, as he projects to be a guy who moves quickly through the upper minors.

Ronald Torreyes appeared in six games, going 0-for-8 and walking once.  He struck out twice.  Probably not the impression he wanted to make, but he will get more opportunities over the coming years.

Vincent Velasquez didn't throw at all in camp.  He continued to rehab from a lattisimus dorsi injury that he suffered during the Arizona Fall League.  His injuries continue to negatively influence his career, but if he ever stays healthy... look out!

In the second set of reassignments after Monday's games, Jordan Jankowski and Joe Sclafani joined the exodus.

Jankowski had a tough camp in a very small sample, giving up five runs on five hits and a walk over two innings pitched.  He didn't pitch on Monday at all.

Sclafani had a better camp, going 3-7 and scoring 4 runs.  He played against the Nationals in the split-squad game on Monday, explaining the timing of the transaction late in the day.  Sclafani's reassignment is probably related to the infield battle, which is really heating up.  Altuve and Lowrie are absolutely playing somewhere, Singleton and Valbuena are having great springs, and Gonzalez and Petit are battling it out for the utility role.  Gattis and Carter may be somewhere.  Dominguez is most likely on the outer, but needs some plate appearances and innings at first base before he is optioned because of his relative seniority and occasional RH pop.

These two culls reduce the Major League spring training camp number to 51 - roughly twice the eventual number that will take the field April 6.  Things remain interesting, with Mike-Bob Grossman and Handsome Jake Marisnick both playing well in the outfield and Wojo having a strong start to the spring.  The next few cuts may be a little less predictable and a little more dramatic.

And if you are keen to catch some TV Spring Training action, the Tuesday game against the Pirates is televised on the new cable network and on MLB.com.