Jimmy Paredes, the Astros' default third basemen for much of the end of last season, was cut from the team on Friday, along with five other players. Paredes, outfielder Fernando Martinez and pitcher Aneury Rodriguez are on their way to Triple-A Oklahoma City, while pitchers Xavier Cedeno and Jose Valdez and outfielder Brad Snyder were reassinged to Minor League camp. That brings the total of Astros players in Spring Training to 41.
The move to assign Paredes likely means that Chris Johnson will start at third base on Opening Day for the Astros. He's currently hitting .367 with two homers and five RBIs. Johnson won the third base job last year, but was sent to Triple A in August. He finished 2011 with a .251 average, hitting seven home runs and 42 RBIs in 107 games.