Whitley is opening the year with Triple-A Round Rock, Jim Callis of MLB.com reports.

He will be pitching in games right away this season, which is noteworthy, as the Astros could have opted to hold him back in extended spring training in an effort to make sure he still had plenty in the tank for a postseason run. They can still manage his innings and make that happen going this route, of course, and he should quickly show that he has little left to prove against minor-league hitters. He could be promoted to the majors at any moment this season.

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