Owens among five cut by Astros on Sunday
The Astros trimmed their Spring Training roster by five players Sunday, optioning left-hander pitcher Rudy Owens and right-handers Jose Cisnero, Collin McHugh and Chia-Jen Lo and reassigning catcher Tyler Heineman to Minor League camp.
None of the cuts, which leave the Astros with 46 players remaining in camp, come as a surprise. Lo, who appeared in 19 games for the Astros last season, was competing for one of the spots in the bullpen and appeared in four games this spring, allowing one earned run in 3 1/3 innings.
Owens, coming off a foot injury that cost him nearly the entire 2013 season, was a long shot to make the rotation and will likely be in the rotation at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He appeared in three games this spring, making two starts, and was 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA.
Acquired from the Pirates in the Wandy Rodriguez deal in 2012, Owens missed most of last season because of a stress fracture in his left foot. He made merely four appearances, three starts, producing an 0-3 record and 3.71 ERA in 17 innings. He pitched in the Dominican Winter League, producing a 3-2 record and 2.68 ERA in 10 starts and 53 2/3 innings.
McHugh, claimed off waivers in December, appeared in three games this spring and allowed 12 hits and nine earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. He split last season between the Mets and Rockies and the Minor Leagues of both organizations.
Cisnero went 2-2 with a 4.12 ERA in 28 games in his Major League debut last year. He pitched in three games in Grapefruit League play, allowing three hits and one earned run in 2 1/3 innings. Heineman spent all of last season at Class A Lancaster, hitting .286 with 13 homers and 71 RBIs.