Gonzalez's hard work earns him spot with Astros

Gonzalez's hard work earns him spot with Astros

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- When the Astros called Marwin Gonzalez into the manager's office Monday afternoon, he couldn't help but be nervous. After all, it's the time of year when these sorts of meetings mean a player has been sent out of camp. But that wasn't the case.

The Astros informed the versatile switch-hitter he had made the Opening Day roster for the third year in a row, which was certainly no surprise considering he entered Monday hitting .395 and could play all four infield spots, as well as the outfield. He beat out veteran Cesar Izturis for the final spot.

"He earned it," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "When you inform guys they are in the competition and the players go out and perform the way Marwin performed, it kind of makes it an easy decision from a standpoint of him being on the team."

Gonzalez, taken in the Rule 5 Draft in 2011, spent the entire 2012 season on Houston's roster, hitting .234 in his Major League debut. He split last season between Houston and Triple-A Oklahoma City, hitting all four of his homers off righties.

"I'm pretty happy. Bo told me as soon as I got to the ballpark today. I was kind of scared when they called me into the office. I was happy. I worked hard for this the whole offseason when I went to Venezuela. I went down there to work hard. I'm happy for that, and I'm going to keep going and working hard in the season and do whatever Bo wants me to do."

Brian McTaggart is a 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.