Astros Sign Minor Leaguers as Spring Training Invitees


No big news here...but it's the off-season and any news is news.  First, the signing of some names we know, because they were previously taken off the 40 man roster: LHP Douglas Arguello; infielders Anderson Hernandez; Oswaldo Navarro, and catcher Brian Esposito.  OremLK probably likes the idea of bringing Arguello into camp; he was an advocate of giving the Hooks starting pitcher some major league work last year.

And, of course, no Ed Wade-related announcement is complete without relief pitchers.  Given Wade's success in finding gems in the relief pitcher slag heap, we try to guess what he sees in each pitcher, all of whom have seen no more than a cup of coffee in the majors. 

27 year old RHP Casey Fien was a good strike out pitcher in the minors, but didn't fare well in his brief stint with the Tigers. He would appear to be a reliever with some upside. From what I can tell, he is a fastball/slider pitcher.

26 year old RHP Fernando Rodriguez  has struggled above AA in the Angels' organization, but he is only one year removed as mlb.com's AA relief pitcher of the year.  His walk rate needs some work. Rodriguez's stats haven't been great, but the fact that he was consistently promoted during his career makes me think that he must have decent stuff.

28 year old RHP Ross Wolf wasn't bad out of the pen (4.26 FIP) in 12.2 innings in Oakland last year, and he seems to be a consistent mid-3's FIP reliever in AAA over the last two years.  Wolf's forte appears to be a low-90's sinker and a high groundball rate--familiar success factors for past surprises among the reliever signees.

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