CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Astros pitchers David Carpenter, Lucas Harrell, Fernando Rodriguez, Kyle Weiland and Rhiner Cruz were informed Monday that they’ve made the Opening Day roster.
General manager Jeff Luhnow told the right-handers the good news during the ballclub’s exhibition game against Double-A Corpus Christi.
It marks the first time in which these five right-handed pitchers have officially secured an Opening Day roster spot at the big league level.
Luhnow announced five position players in the same boat the previous day.
“Just like yesterday where we talked to the position players who have never been on an active, Opening Day roster, we did the same thing today with five pitchers that will make our team,” Luhnow said. “It was a fun experience to tell them the news.”
Carpenter, 26, posted a 1-3 record with a 2.93 ERA and one save over 27 2/3 innings in 34 appearances for Houston last season.
He made his major league debut on June 30.
Harrell, 26, made his Astros debut as a September call-up last season after being claimed off waivers from the White Sox on July 8.
The fourth-round pick by the White Sox in 2004 went 0-2 with a 3.46 ERA over 13 innings in six games (two starts) down the stretch.
He posted a 2-1 record with a 2.16 ERA over 16 2/3 innings in seven games (one start) for the Astros in Grapefruit League play.
He tossed six shutout innings Monday against Corpus Christi.
Rodriguez, 27, went 2-3 with a 3.96 ERA and 57 strikeouts over 52 1/3 innings in 47 relief appearances for the Astros last season.
He posted a 2.35 ERA in eight spring outings.
Weiland, 25, was acquired by Houston, along with shortstop Jed Lowrie, from the Red Sox last December in exchange for Mark Melancon.
He compiled a 0-3 record with a 7.66 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 24 2/3 innings in seven games (five starts) for Boston last season.
The young right-hander stepped up this spring by going 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA over 22 innings in six games (four starts) for Houston.
He’ll be in the Astros’ rotation to start the season.
Cruz, 25, went a combined 5-3 with a 3.89 ERA over 44 relief appearances while holding opposing hitters to a stellar .202 average for Double-A Binghamton and Class A Port St. Lucie last season.
After a slow start to the spring, Cruz emerged when it counted most down the stretch and put himself in position to make the roster.
Houston selected the hard-throwing Cruz with the first overall pick of the Rule 5 Draft during the Winter Meetings this past December.
The Astros paid $50,000 to the Mets for Cruz and must keep him in the major leagues for 2012, or offer him back to New York.
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