MLB News: The 2021 Houston Astros are 18 days away from Opening Day, which means we are now starting to see the team make roster cuts to get the roster down to the 26-man roster limit. This is always the toughest part about Spring Training because players have worked so hard with the hopes of making the Opening Day roster.
MLB News: First Round Of Cuts
On Friday, the 2021 Houston Astros made the first round of roster cuts, which happened to be four pitchers: Forrest Whitley, Nivaldo Rodriguez, Alex Santos, and Riley Ferrell. Both Whitley and Rodriguez are on the 40-man roster, which means they both will be optioned to the minor leagues while Santos and Ferrell will be assigned to the minor leagues, which means the Astros will more than likely send them down to different parts within the Astros farm system.
Injuries continue to plaque Whitley as he will be out for the entire 2021 season due to Tommy John surgery. The 23-year-old has battled injuries since being drafted out of high school in the first round (17th overall) by the Astros in 2016. The Astros will keep Whitley on the 40-man roster to protect him. Rodriguez had a pretty good spring training; he appeared in three games, managing a 3.00 ERA in 6.0 innings pitched, with 6 strikeouts. The Astros will probably have Rodriguez start the season down at Triple-A Sugar Land.
Alex Santos was the Astros first pick in the 2020 draft. Santos came into spring training as a non-roster invitee. This was the first opportunity for the Astros to look at Santos up close, and although Santos did not make it into a game, the future does look bright for the young pitcher. Ferrell did not have the best springs, only appearing in two games, managing an 18.00 ERA in two innings.
MLB News: Second Round Of Cuts
On Sunday, the Astros made the second round of cuts; this included six players: Colin Barber, Zach Daniels, Ryan Hartman, Blair Henley, Grae Kessinger, and Lorenzo Quintana. These players will continue to work out at the Astros spring training facilities before re-signing to the minor leagues.
Colin Barber, the number nine prospect, was a non-roster invitee outfielder and managed to get into four games this spring and did not record a batting average but did get one RBI in six plate appearances.
Zach Daniels, the number 20 prospect, is another outfielder that was a non-roster invitee coming into spring training, hoping to get some playing time. Daniels played in five games, managed to get five plate appearances, but did not record any hits.
Ryan Hartman is a young pitcher that has a lot of potential. Hartman has spent the last two seasons at Double-A Corpus Christi. This spring, Hartman went 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA, six strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched.
Blair Henley, drafted in the 7th round in 2019 and the #25 prospect, was a non-roster invitee but did not get into any games this spring.
Grae Kessinger was a second-round pick in 2019, played in eight games this spring. Kessinger batted .182 with one RBI, a .432 OPS in eleven plate appearances this spring.
Lorenzo Quintana showed some promise this spring. Quintana batted .333, with one RBI, .762 OPS in six plate appearances, all while getting into five games this spring.
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