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The Astros Send Framber Valdez Down to AAA

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They will make a corresponding move before the game

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

In a surprising, but not so surprising move, the Houston Astros have optioned starter Framber Valdez to Triple-A according to Chandler Rome. This was his second straight game that he left after pitching less than 3⅓ innings. The timing for this could not be worse so close to the All-Star break and with the players available on the 40-man roster. Other than Bryan Abreu, there are no other options on the 40-man roster. Abreu is currently at the Class-AA level, possibly not ready for big league hitters.

What about Cionel Perez, Rogelio Armenteros, and Reymin Guduan? They have the most MLB experience on the 40-man roster, but unfortunately, they have not been down the required ten days. Brady Rodgers, Dean Deetz, Corbin Martin, and Joe Smith (MLB) are currently on the IL. The Astros have already said they are not rushing Smith back, so I don’t expect him to get the call. Maybe they could put Smith on the 60-man IL, but is it retroactive? We will see, but the 40-man roster is full now.

With no options to replace Valdez on the 40-man roster, the Astros would most likely have to make a roster move. Aledmys Diaz and Carlos Correa are not ready to return soon, but I don’t see them putting either on the 60-day IL. They have already moved Lance McCullers to the 60-day IL. Someone will have to be placed on waivers to remove them from the 40-man roster.

Let’s look at who could be removed from the 40-man roster.

Brady Rodgers could be an option, but he is also quality depth despite his lack of success at the big league level. While AJ Reed is not likely in the future for the Astros, he has value and could be traded. However, the Astros need a player tomorrow. They can’t wait on a trade. This could be a surprise as to who gets removed from the roster.

Who could the Astros callup?

The fans would like to see Jose Urquidy, but he pitched tonight for the Round Rock Express. He threw six shutout innings while striking out nine batters, but he would not likely be available out of the bullpen for five days.

Cy Sneed is going to the AAA All-Star game unless he gets promoted to the Astros. In a league dominated by offense, pitcher’s ERA is typically inflated. That makes Sneed’s numbers impressive at 5-6 with a 4.48 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 70 ⅓ innings pitched. He leads the team in innings pitched this year, started only eight of them. He’s been part of a tandem system.

Before you ask, Forrest Whitley is nowhere close to being ready. While the Astros don’t necessarily need a fifth starter, it wouldn’t hurt to have someone like Sneed who could pitch multiple innings. He is used to pitching in the tandem system which could help coming out of the bullpen. We will find out who it is tomorrow, but the Astros wasted no time moving on from Valdez.