Astros option Shuck as roster takes shape

Astros option Shuck as roster takes shape

HOUSTON -- The Astros have to trim their roster by two more players prior to Wednesday's 4 p.m. CT deadline to set the 25-man roster in advance of Opening Day.

Late Tuesday, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow announced that outfielder J.B. Shuck had been optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, leaving the Astros with 27 healthy players. That includes 14 pitchers, six infielders, five outfielders and two catchers.

The Astros are likely to carry 12 pitchers to start the season, so two more hurlers will have to be cut. It appears non-roster outfielders Justin Ruggiano and Travis Buck have won the two backup outfield spots and Matt Downs and Marwin Gonzalez have won the two backup infield spots. Gonzalez has been told he's made the team.

Shuck, 24, hit .255 in 23 games this spring after batting .272 with a .359 on-base percentage in 37 games for the Astros last year. He spent the majority of his 2011 campaign at Oklahoma City, where he was named a Pacific Coast League All-Star after hitting .297 (105-for-354) in 108 games.

Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.