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Astros release Cotts, send down Chapman and Gustave

The picture about which lefty will join Tony Sipp in the bullpen becomes clearer.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

One of the looming question for the Houston Astros roster entering the 2016 is will the team have two left-handed pitchers in the bullpen. Tony Sipp is locked in as the number one man for the job, but Houston has brought in a bevy of lefties to fight for a spot on the roster including former Astro Wandy Rodriguez and former and former Minnesota Twin Neal Cotts was brought in.

Friday, the Astros annouced the club has granted Cotts his unconditional release. In 2015, Cotts posted a 1-0 record with a 3.41 ERA in 68 appearances between the Milwaukee Brewers and Twins. He struck out 58 and walked 22 in 63 1/3 innings. This Spring, Cotts was 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in seven games (7 1/3 innings).

The team also optioned minor league left-handed pitching option Kevin Chapman and right-handed pitcher Jandel Gustave. Chapman didn't allow a run in seven Spring Training appearances.

With Cotts and Chapman off the roster, Rodriguez appears in the driver's seat for a roster spot if the Astros choice to keep two lefties on the roster.