It was the first cut day this spring prior to Houston's game against the Phillies. And though it's never easy, the first batch offered little in the way of surprises.
With the Spring Training schedule continuing to wind down and Brad Mills' club having just completed a critical evaluation stretch of five games in three days, the Astros whittled their list of camp attendees by 14.
Reassigned to Minor League camp were left-hander Douglas Arguello; infielders Koby Clemens, Brian Dopirak, Jiovanni Mier and Jose Carlos Thompson; catcher Rene Garcia; right-hander Sammy Gervacio; and outfielders Jon Gaston and J.D. Martinez.
Optioned to the Minors were right-handers David Carpenter, Cesar Carrillo, Jorge De Leon and Arcenio Leon and infielder Jimmy Paredes.
The Astros now have 49 players in camp.
"We've had so many split squads," Mills said, "and after this split-squad [game] yesterday, we had to pare it down a little bit."
The most intriguing name on the list is Clemens, son of former Astros great Roger Clemens. The 24-year-old Clemens was one of the first players to arrive in camp, but struggled in Grapefruit League play, getting just two hits in 23 at-bats while striking out eight times.
Clemens, an eighth-round Draft pick in 2005, hit .241 with 26 homers and 85 RBIs in 127 Double-A games last year. Mills sees promise after Clemens' first big league camp, but also room for growth.
"The bat speed he has is pretty special," the Astros' skipper said. "You don't just teach that type of bat speed. That comes with ability. And he has really improved over at first base.
"He works so hard, and he's got such a great attitude that [if] he keeps doing those things, good things are going to happen."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less