Jake Marisnick CF/RF HOU 7 minutes ago
Marisnick will likely open the season in a starting role in center field, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
Marisnick's chances of winning a starting gig appeared remote after the Astros added Colby Rasmus to a crowded outfield in the winter, but that changed following Wednesday's reassignment of Jon Singleton to Triple-A Fresno. With Singleton out of the picture, designated hitter Chris Carter figures to see most of the time at first base, while Evan Gattis will likely move from left field to DH. With the extra outfield spot open, Rasmus will play left while Marisnick projects to start in center, where he'll likely have the opportunity to showcase his excellent defensive range. Unfortunately, it's been in the batter's box where Marisnick has yet to bring much value, as he's slashed an ugly .227/.264/.300 over 355 career plate appearances. Look for the Astros to slot Marisnick low in the lineup until he begins to display the on-base skills that appeared to make him a promising leadoff candidate during his time in the minors.
Jonathan Villar SS HOU 18 minutes ago
Villar has secured an Opening Day roster spot with the Astros, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports.
The Astros hope to take advantage of Villar's immense speed by deploying him as a super utility option in the mold of Emilio Bonifacio. Though a middle infielder by trade, Villar also saw some reps in the outfield this spring, and could occasionally see some work there in the late innings. However, with the promise of regular at-bats not in the offing for Villar with Jose Altuve and Jed Lowrie locked into starting role at second base and shortstop, it may be difficult to extract value from him even as a one-category play.
Chase Anderson SP ARI 19 minutes ago
Anderson has earned a rotation spot to start the season, according to AZ Central. Whether he or Trevor Cahill will slot into the fourth or fifth spots in the rotation remains to be seen.
Anderson made 21 below average starts last year for the DBacks, registering a 4.01 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, and 4.28 FIP. His strikeout rate of 8.3 K/9 was pretty good and he got more groundball outs than fly outs, so he could see some improvement if he could drop his walk rate down below 3 BB/9. He will be hard to trust in shallow and mixed leagues until he shows improvement.
Phillippe Aumont RP PHI 19 minutes ago
Aumont was outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Aumont was believed to be in the running for a long relief spot out of the bullpen this season, but didn't show enough in spring training to warrant a roster spot. He'll likely begin the season in Triple-A.
Brad Peacock SP HOU 22 minutes ago
Peacock (hip) was placed on the 15-day DL Wednesday, the Astros' official website reports.
Peacock's DL stint will be backdated to March 30, allowing him to return as soon as the second week of the season. As part of his recovery, he'll start the first game of the season for Triple-A Fresno on April 9.
Alex Presley OF HOU 26 minutes ago
Presley was designated for assignment by the Astros on Wednesday, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports.
With the Astros electing to keep Robbie Grossman as their fourth outfielder and speedy backup middle infielder Jonathan Villar as a potential fifth option, Presley was deemed expendable. The organization still expressed interest in keeping Presley's around as a depth option at Triple-A, but he'll have to clear waivers first after being dropped from the Astros' 40-man roster. Presley slashed .244/.281/.346 across 89 games with the Astros in 2014.
Brett Oberholtzer SP HOU 27 minutes ago
Oberholtzer (finger) was placed on the 15-day DL Wednesday, the Astros' official website reports.
Oberhotlzer's DL stint will be backdated to March 30, allowing him to return as soon as the second week of the season. The 25-year-old left-hander recently overcame a minor lat strain, but is now dealing with a blister on his left index finger. Oberholtzer struggled during Grapefruit League play (7.56 ERA) and went 5-13 with a 4.39 ERA for the Astros last season.
Josh Fields RP HOU 45 minutes ago
Fields (groin) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Fields' DL stint will be backdated to March 27, allowing him to return as soon as the second week of the season. The right-hander seems optimistic about his recovery thus far, and may be back in the minimum 15 days if he's able to continue throwing in the next few days. Fields, who whiffed 70 batters and showed an improved walk rate over his 54.2 innings last season, figures to work in a setup role for closer Luke Gregerson once he's activated from the DL.
L. J. Hoes LF/RF HOU 47 minutes ago
Hoes was optioned to Triple-A Fresno on Wednesday.
Hoes hit .280 over 25 Grapefruit League at-bats, but was never among the favorites to land a reserve outfielder role with the Astros. He'll serve as organizational depth in the upper minors.
Caleb Thielbar RP MIN 51 minutes ago
Thielbar was optioned to Triple-A Rochester.
Thielbar struggled this spring with a 5.73 ERA but did have a 11:3 K:BB ratio in 11 innings. It's surprising he was sent down since he was in the majors all last season and pitched effectively (3.40 ERA). However, his lack of fastball velocity (88.8 mph) and mediocre strikeout rate (6.6 K/9 last year) limits his upside.