HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have claimed outfielder Fernando Martinez off waivers from the New York Mets, and designated right-handed pitcher Henry Villar for assignment, General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today.
The 23-year-old Martinez (6-1, 205 lbs) spent the majority of the 2011 season at Triple A Buffalo, but did have a brief stint with the Mets big league club. In 63 games with Buffalo, he hit .260 (58x223) with eight home runs and 30 RBI. He hit .227 (5x22) in 11 games for the Mets with a home run, which came on May 13 at Minute Maid Park off right-handed Bud Norris. Martinez also had brief stints with the Mets during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, appearing in a combined 36 games in that span. He has a .274 career average in six minor league seasons after being signed by the Mets as an amateur free agent in 2005 at 16 years of age.
Villar, who was designated for assignment to make room on the Astros 40-man roster, pitched for both Triple A Oklahoma City and Double A Corpus Christi in 2011, posting a combined 4-5 mark with a 5.45 ERA in 42 appearances (7 starts) with 29 walks and 48 strikeouts in 76.0 innings of work.