With the outright of Carlos Corporan, Houston’s 40-man roster stands at 37. The club has two days to set the 40-man roster heading into the winter meetings, which includes the Rule 5 Draft. With all due respect to Arcenio Leon, Angel Sanchez, and Henry Villar, there are three Rule 5 vulnerable players the Astros should consider protecting before the Friday dealine. Adding these players would require the removal of three from the current roster if the club wishes to keep three spots open for the Rule 5 Draft and/or free agent signings.

Paul Clemens, 24(2012 Opening Day age), RHP. Clemens was one of the pieces in the Michael Bourn trade. Some noise has been made that he has a chance to pitch at Minute Maid in 2012. In 2011, he started 26 games between Mississippi, Corpus Christi and Oklahoma City. He posted a 3.81 ERA in 144 innings.

Kody Hinze, 24, 1B. With the Astros moving to the American League in 2013, Hinze is a perfect candidate for the DH depth chart. He led the organization in home runs and RBI in 2011. He has kept up the performance in the Arizona Fall League batting .280 with 15 RBI in 20 games heading into today’s play.

Dayan Diaz, 23, RHP. Baseball America named Diaz the short-season relief pitcher of the year. His development has been slowed by injury, but he broke out in 2011 with 70 strikeouts and a 1.98 ERA in 50 innings pitched for Tri-City.



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