On Monday, the Astros announced that four more players had been optioned to minor league camp. Included in the goup are LHP Luis Cruz, RHP David Martinez, OF Domingo Santana and C Max Stassi. With the move, Houston brings its number of players in big league camp to 52 with three weeks to play until Opening Day. That includes 35 members of the 40-man roster and 17 non-roster invitees.
Of the four, the most surprising early cut is Stassi. After acquiring the oft-injured backstop from Oakland, Stassi hit .277/.333/.529 for Corpus Christi before earning a surprise late-season callup when Jason Castro's knee injury flared up again.
Of course, Stassi's time in the big leagues was short-lived due to this:
David Martinez was the only one of the other three who had an outside shot at making the roster. Martinez contributed well to the bullpen last season, throwing 11 innings with a 7.15 ERA (but a much more normal 3.93 FIP). The offseason acquisitions of Chad Qualls, Matt Albers, Jesse Crain and Anthony Bass likely pushed Martinez out of the bullpen mix, however.
Other than that, no surprises here. Anyone else have thoughts on the moves? Are you sad to see Stassi down in minor league camp, or relieved that catcher won't be an area of competition for the Astros moving forward?