The Houston Astros have invited minor league catchers Rene Garcia and Chris Wallace to Major League camp as non-roster invites. The Astros also announced that the club has agreed to terms on one-year contracts with the following seven players: LHP Fernando Abad, OF Brian Bogusevic, C Jason Castro, RHP Paul Clemens, IF Chris Johnson, RHP Fernando Rodriguez and IF Brett Wallace. The announcements were made by Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow.
Garcia, 21, played for Advanced Class A Lancaster last season and hit .242 (72x297) with 11 doubles, one home run and 27 RBI in 86 games. The four-year pro will be spending his second straight year with the Major League club at Spring Training, having appeared in two games for the Astros last spring. Garcia was originally a 35th round selection by Houston out of Puerto Rico in the June 2008 draft.
Wallace, 23, combined to hit .271 (99x365) with 20 doubles, 20 home runs and 78 RBI in 102 games with Class A Lexington and Double A Corpus Christi last season. He finished third among all Astros minor leaguers in home runs and RBI in 2011, in what was just his second year as a pro. A native of Cypress, TX, Wallace was selected by the Astros out of the University of Houston in the 16th round of the June 2010 draft.
Abad, 26, went 1-4 with a 7.32 ERA (16ER/19.2IP) in 29 Major League games after opening the season as the Astros lone left-handed reliever in 2011. He spent the majority of last year with Triple A Oklahoma City, posting a 2-3 record and a 4.80 ERA (16ER/30IP) in 29 games.
Bogusevic, who celebrates his 28th birthday today, hit .287 (47x164) with four home runs and 15 RBI in 87 games for Houston last season. He started 35 games for the Astros in 2011, including 31 in the final two months of the season, a span in which he hit .313 (40x128) with four home runs and 14 RBI.
Castro, 24, missed the entire 2011 campaign while recovering from right knee surgery. The 2008 first-round draft pick enters his fifth professional season with a career .205 (40x195) average in 67 Major League games, all coming with the Astros in 2010.
Clemens, 24, combined to post an 8-7 record and a 3.81 ERA (61ER/144IP) in 26 starts for Double A Mississippi (20g), Double A Corpus Christi (5g) and Triple A Oklahoma City (1g) this past season. The 6-foot-4 starter was acquired midseason last year by Houston from Atlanta as part of the Michael Bourn trade on July 31.
Johnson, the Astros Opening Day third baseman in 2011, appeared in a career-high 107 games for Houston last season, hitting .251 (95x378) with seven home runs and 42 RBI. The 27-year-old infielder has a career .273 (202x741) Major League average with 18 home runs and 95 RBI in 212 games (2009-11).
Rodriguez, 27, went 2-3 with a 3.96 ERA (23ER/52.1IP) in 47 games out of the Astros bullpen last season. A minor league free agent signee last offseason, Rodriguez spent the majority of the year in Houston, his first extended time in the Majors. He pitched a career-high 52.1 innings last year, fanning 57 Major League hitters.
Wallace, 25, appeared in a career-high 115 Major League games last season, hitting .259 (87x336) with five home runs and 29 RBI. Wallace, the Astros Opening Day first baseman in 2011, got off to a solid start last year, hitting .316 (56x177) with a .385 on-base percentage in April and May.
The additions of Garcia and Chris Wallace put the club’s Spring Training roster at 63, which includes 23 non-roster invites.