Stubbs among five NRIs sent to Minors camp

Astros also move pitchers Frias, Holmes, Sneed, West

Stubbs among five NRIs sent to Minors camp

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Astros made their first roster cuts of the spring Sunday, reassigning pitchers Edison Frias, Brian Holmes, Cy Sneed and Aaron West and catcher Garrett Stubbs to Minor League camp. All five were non-roster invitees.

The moves leave the Astros with 54 players in camp, not including the eight players who are away from the team competing in the World Baseball Classic.

"It's about that time, with Minor League camp opening up. It's time to thin it out a little bit and get those guys prepared for their seasons, while giving a little more opportunity to guys who have the chance to make our team," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.

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Stubbs, the Astros' No. 11 prospect as ranked by MLBPipeline.com, didn't appear in any Grapefruit League games because he had been dealing with a sore shoulder. Hinch said Stubbs, a strong fundamental defensive catcher who's developing offensively, is likely to play for the Astros in one of Friday's split-squad games against either the Red Sox or Braves.

"I think he is the first guy I've sent down without playing in a Major League game," Hinch said. "With [Evan] Gattis starting to catch, the opportunity had passed for extra time. We're excited about him, and now he's going down fully ready to play and get integrated into Minor League camp."

Frias made headlines early in camp when he unintentionally hit Detroit's Miguel Cabrera after allowing three consecutive homers. He allowed five runs in 1 2/3 innings this spring. Holmes allowed seven hits and three runs in 4 2/3 innings, Sneed allowed 11 hits and nine runs in four innings, and West gave up four hits and two runs in five innings.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.