In news first broken by MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, the Astros have designated starter-then-reliever Nelson Figueroa for assignment. The team will have a few days to convince Figueroa to accept a minor league assignment or have him become a free agent.
Figueroa had been an abomination in the rotation and hadn’t solved anything in the bullpen either. His two innings tonight, where he allowed three hits and one earned run, lowered his season ERA to 8.69. It’s very unlikely he’ll be claimed as a free agent, so this looks to be a rather low-risk move.
Escalona, who was acquired in a very curious minor league trade before the season for second base prospect Albert Cartwright, has put together a 3.6 ERA for the Oklahoma City RedHawks in 15 innings, striking out 16 and walking five, though he has allowed 13 hits. Cartwright has not played yet this season for the Phillies. Escalona will probably get a crack at the lefty specialist role early and often given Fernando Abad’s recent struggles.