The Astros finally have their starting lineup back together.
Shortstop Clint Barmes will make his season debut Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers exactly five weeks to the day after the Yankees' Ivan Nova broke Barmes' left hand with a pitch in a spring training game.
To make room on the 25-man roster, the Astros designated Joe Inglett for assignment. They will have 10 days to release, trade or waive the man they acquired just five days before the season started to be a left-handed bat off the bench. If Inglett clears waivers, the Astros could try to outright him to the minors.
Barmes went 3-for-5 Thursday in his final rehab outing for the Astros' Class AA Corpus Christi affiliate, his fourth rehab game overall. He played nine innings at shortstop for the second day in a row.
His arrival likely will turn Angel Sanchez back into a utility player. Sanchez had started all 25 games at shortstop and in the No. 2 spot in the lineup. He is hitting .300 with a .333 on-base percentage and a .380 slugging percentage.
Inglett finished his brief Astros tenure hitting .208 (5-for-24) with one double after a hitting pinch single in the eighth inning of Thursday's 11-7 loss to the Cardinals. He saved some of his best work for the end, collecting three big hits late in games during the St. Louis series.
"Joe did everything here that we asked him," manager Brad Mills said. "He started swinging the bat a little bit more with more playing time, and it's tough."
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.