HOUSTON – Right-hander Cy Sneed knew the drill all too well. The Astros, having activated starting pitcher Framber Valdez to start Sunday’s game, needed to create roster space. So when bench coach Joe Espada approached Sneed in the clubhouse after Saturday’s win over the Angels, he knew what was up.
The Astros optioned Sneed to Triple-A Round Rock for the fifth time this season, including the fourth time in August. His latest stint in the big leagues lasted only four days, which was two days longer than his previous recall. When he was sent down in Oakland last weekend, he hadn’t even left the team hotel in San Francisco before the Astros called him back up a day later.
“I just told him to stay positive, and thanks for being the way that he is and understanding that you’d rather be this guy that goes up and down than never to be called again,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “He has such a great attitude. We are going to bring him back in September at some point, and he’s going to get an opportunity to pitch a little bit more than he has. He’s been a trooper and gotten some frequent-flyer miles and been our insurance policy, and I applaud his attitude.”
Sneed has appeared in four games for the Astros this year, posting a 4.26 ERA in 12 2/3 innings. In 81 innings with the Express this year, he is 7-6 with a 4.22 ERA in 18 games (nine starts). He’s only appeared in one game for the Astros in August, though, throwing two-thirds of an inning on Aug. 16.
• Infielder Aledmys Díaz, who went on the injured list last weekend in Oakland after experiencing lightheadedness and dizziness, is expected to be activated Tuesday. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Saturday in a rehab start with Round Rock, and was scheduled to play half of Sunday’s game at shortstop and half at third base.
• Shortstop Carlos Correa, on the IL with a stiff lower back, did some light running on the field Sunday, which is a step in the right direction. He still hasn’t started hitting or doing agility work, but Hinch said he’s in a great spot because he’s upbeat about being able to move around and about his recovery.