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Feliz earns final spot in Astros' bullpen

Slugger Gattis, righty McCullers, catcher Stassi to begin season on disabled list
Special to MLB.com

HOUSTON -- The Astros' 2016 Opening Day roster is finally complete, as right-hander Michael Feliz bested James Hoyt for the last bullpen spot on the 25-man roster, the team announced shortly after Friday's 4-2 exhibition win over the Brewers at Minute Maid Park.

Houston added Feliz and first baseman Tyler White to the 40-man roster, though White's addition was a mere formality after he won a starting job before the team left Kissimmee, Fla., earlier this week. The club also officially placed designated hitter/outfielder Evan Gattis, pitcher Lance McCullers and catcher Max Stassi on the 15-day disabled list.

HOUSTON -- The Astros' 2016 Opening Day roster is finally complete, as right-hander Michael Feliz bested James Hoyt for the last bullpen spot on the 25-man roster, the team announced shortly after Friday's 4-2 exhibition win over the Brewers at Minute Maid Park.

Houston added Feliz and first baseman Tyler White to the 40-man roster, though White's addition was a mere formality after he won a starting job before the team left Kissimmee, Fla., earlier this week. The club also officially placed designated hitter/outfielder Evan Gattis, pitcher Lance McCullers and catcher Max Stassi on the 15-day disabled list.

"We're hopeful for a quick return for McCullers," manager A.J. Hinch said. "We're hopeful our starting rotation -- with the adrenaline of the regular season start -- to pitch a little bit deeper into the game. But the possibility of three-plus innings of relief -- I like Feliz in that situation."

Feliz posted a 7.88 ERA over five appearances and eight innings last season in his first big league action. He then made his case for a spot with a dominant spring in which he went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 14 innings.

"I was working on my offspeed stuff and I can see it's a lot better than last year," Feliz said. "I'm pretty happy just because it was my goal to make this team for Opening Day. … I can feel confident with my experience."

Hoyt will begin the season at Triple-A Fresno after a solid spring. The righty struck out 21 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP over 10 spring appearances, including a shutout frame on Friday.

Hinch informed both players of his decision prior to Friday's game.

"It's not the news I wanted to hear, but ... I'll head down here and go down there and become a better pitcher," Hoyt said. "I won't let it affect how I compete."

Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com.

Houston Astros