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Astros release three minor league players including Buchanan and Sclafani

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Three minor leaguers no longer have a spot on the roster with the rising tides of talent int he Astros system.

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros are finalizing major league and minor league roster ahead the team's Opening Day game on Monday. In conjunction with these moves, the Astros have released three minor league players right-handed pitcher Jake Buchannan, utility player Joe Sclafani, and right-handed pitcher Travis Ballew, as reported by the Houston Chronicle's Evan Drellich.

Buchanan, 26, was drafted by the Astros out of NC State in the eight round of the 2010 MLB Draft. He made to spot starts for the Astros in 2014 and posted a 1-3 record with 4.06 ERA in 44 1/3 major league innings over two seasons. With Triple-A Fresno last season, he posted a 5-5 record with a 4.76 ERA in 30 appearances (seven starts).

Sclafani, 25, a 14th round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft out of Dartmouth. He reached Triple-A in 2014 and spent time between Triple-A and Dobule-A in 2015. He batted. 292 (68x233) with five doubles, 28 RBI, and 41 runs scored in 75 games.

Ballew, 24, a 23rd round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft out of Texas State. Ballew pitched 50 times in relief for Double-A and Triple-A, posting a 5-5 record with a 4.01 ERA in 67.1 innings and striking out 57.

Drellich also noted that Buchanan has already reached a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs.