Astros send trio of top prospects to Minors camp

Astros send trio of top prospects to Minors camp

VIERA, Fla. -- The Houston Astros sent six players to Minor League Spring Training on Monday morning, including a trio of their top prospects. Juan Minaya, Joe Musgrove, David Paulino and Danny Reynolds were optioned to Minors camp, while Brady Rodgers and Brendan McCurry were reassigned.

"It was time for us to thin camp out," manager A.J. Hinch said. "We didn't have enough innings to go around. We've been relatively healthy, which is nice. Some of the younger guys that were in their first big league camp, it was time for them to get a little more regular work in Minor League camp."

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Paulino (No. 7) and Musgrove (No. 8) are ranked among the team's Top 10 prospects by MLBPipeline.com. Paulino notched a 5-3 record and a 2.81 ERA combined between three levels last season. Musgrove went 12-1 with a 1.88 ERA split between three levels and topping out at Double-A Corpus Christi.

Rodgers is going to get stretched out to start one of the two games the Astros and Padres are set to play in Mexico City on March 26-27.

"He's going to make a start for us in Mexico," Hinch said. "We need him to build his pitch count up over the next 10 days. And in order to do that, he can do it over in the Minor Leagues [better] than here with us.

McCurry, the team's No. 23 prospect, posted a 1.86 ERA as a reliever in 2015. McCurry pitched to a 1-2 record and a 1.94 ERA for Class A Advanced Stockton and an 0-1 record with a 1.62 mark for Double-A Midland. McCurry was acquired from Oakland in a trade for Jed Lowrie earlier in the offseason.

"There was a reason behind all of the moves," Hinch said. "There's probably a few more moves coming later this week to inch closer to a smaller camp as we get towards the last 10 or 12 days of camp."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. Glenn Sattell contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.