With the season inching ever so close, the Houston Astros have made many player-related moves across the organization.
We’ll start with the (in)famous J.D. Martinez.
JD Martinez released. Downs, Amador to minor league camp
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 22, 2014
The 20th-rounder in the 2009 MLB Draft, Martinez had a successful start to his career in Houston before everything went downhill. There will be several teams calling for his services in hopes the 26-year old can revive his career. Martinez was fun to watch in his early days in Houston, but there’s no longer room for him here. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow calls him “a victim of our own success” and he’s right.
The Astros are still at 28 players in camp even with all those moves. The Astros still have to figure out their final two spots in the rotation, their closer, and their utility players. Expect more announcements over the next few days.
We’re still not done with the moves. The Astros cleaned out the closet in the Minor Leagues and got rid of several players. P Joe Bircher, P Gerardo Sanchez, C Ernesto Genoves, INF Jesse Wierzbicki, and INF Brandon Wikoff were all released this morning.
Last week, the Astros also released the following players: P Ryan Connolly, P Euris Quezada, P Blair Walters, P Zach Dando, P Alex Gillingham, P Kyle Hallock, INF Parker Hipp, INF Jean Batista, and 3B Angel Ibanez.
I was a bit surprised to see Long, Gillingham, Hallock, and Batista let go. They all seemed to have some sort of upside and I would have liked to have given them another shot this season. The 25-year old Long was a big part of the Lancaster bullpen but struggled in Corpus Christi. Gillingham was acquired in the Wilton Lopez deal and only pitched 8 innings last season. Hallock was a 10th-round pick in the 2011 Draft, but amassed a 6.73 ERA across four levels in the Astros system last season. Batista was an international signing a few years ago and has yet to put things together. He’s still just 22, and should find work elsewhere.
All these minor leaguers would have been average MiLB’ers for the Astros a few seasons ago. Now, they are the scraps the Astros have chosen to get rid of. This is just another proof that Jeff Luhnow is right.
“We are a victim of our own success.”
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