Five pitchers to make first Opening Day roster

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The Houston Astros named five pitchers who will be making their debuts on a Major League Opening Day roster: RHP David Carpenter, RHP Rhiner Cruz, RHP Lucas Harrell, RHP Fernando Rodriguez and RHP Kyle Weiland. The Astros also announced that they have optioned RHP Jordan Lyles to Triple A Oklahoma City. The announcements were made by Houston Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow.

Carpenter, 26, made his Major League debut with the Astros last season and made 34 appearances for the big league club, posting a 1-3 record with one save and a 2.93 ERA (9ER/27.2IP). He pitched at both Double A Corpus Christi and Triple A Oklahoma City, combining to compile a 1.91 ERA (7ER/33IP) in his 33 minor league appearances. Originally drafted as a catcher by St. Louis in 2006, Carpenter was acquired in 2010 by Houston from St. Louis in exchange for IF Pedro Feliz.

Cruz, 25, becomes the club’s second Rule 5 player to make the Major League roster this season. He was the first player selected in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft after spending his 2011 campaign in the New York Mets organization. At the Double and Triple A levels, Cruz combined for a 5-3 record with seven saves and a 3.89 ERA (31ER/71.2IP) in 44 appearances. As a Rule 5 draft selection, he must remain with the Astros Major League club the entire season or be offered back to New York.

Harrell, 26, will make the club after a strong Spring season, posting a 1-0 record and a 2.16 ERA (4ER/16.2IP) in seven appearances (one start), not including tonight. He made six appearances for Houston last season, including two starts, as a September call-up and went 0-2 with a 3.46 ERA (5ER/13IP) in those outings. Harrell combined to go 12-5 with a 2.63 ERA (37ER/126.2IP) in 22 games (21 starts) at the Triple A level last season. Houston acquired him off waivers from the Chicago White Sox on July 8, 2011.

Rodriguez, 27, saw his first extended Major League action in 2011 with Houston, appearing in 47 games with a 2-3 record and a 3.96 ERA (23ER/52.1IP). In his 52.1 innings pitched, Rodriguez fanned 57 Major League hitters. During his time at Triple A, Rodriguez went 2-3 with two saves and a 1.50 ERA (4ER/24IP) in his 16 games.

Weiland, 25, made his Major League debut in 2011 with Boston, appearing in seven games (five starts) and posting an 0-3 record and a 7.66 ERA (21ER/24.2IP). He has made six appearances (four starts) this spring, and owns a 2-1 record and a 2.86 ERA (7ER/22IP). Weiland was acquired by Houston this offseason from Boston along with IF Jed Lowrie in exchange for RHP Mark Melancon.

Lyles, 21, appeared in 20 games (15 starts) for Houston last year, spending  most of the year as the youngest player in the Major Leagues. In his 20 appearances, Lyles went 2-8 with a 5.36 ERA (56ER/94IP). He began the 2011 season at Triple A OKC, where he went 3-3 with a 3.61 ERA (25ER/62.1IP) in 12 appearances.

With the Lyles move, the Astros Spring roster now stands at 30.