KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros general manager Ed Wade said Tuesday that left-hander Fernando Abad isn't in the hunt for the final spot in the rotation. Not that Abad isn't impressive, but after talking with the staff, Wade said the decision was made to keep him in the bullpen for now.
"We think the role he's capable of playing in the bullpen as a key lefty for us probably takes precedent at this point in his career," Wade said. "It doesn't mean at some point he's not going to be a very successful starter, but for the time being, we're going to focus on him as a reliever."
Abad, who posted a 2.84 ERA in 22 games in relief in his Major League debut last year, started 10 games in the Dominican Winter League and was 3-1 with a 3.42 ERA. That forced the Astros to discuss putting him in the mix for a spot in the rotation.
With Abad out of the picture, those competing for the fifth spot in the rotation are Nelson Figueroa, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Jordan Lyles, Aneury Rodriguez and Lance Pendleton.