WILL GRUBB, CBS HoustonBy Will Grubb

Houston (CBS Houston)– The youth movement is now fully underway for the Houston Astros.

After a 12-5 loss to the Mariners at Minute Maid Park on Sunday, Astros Manager Bo Porter announced that first basemen Carlos Pena and shortstop Ronny Cedeno would be designated for assignment. The team now has 10 days to release, trade, outright, or waive them.

Jonathan Villar, who was acquired in 2010 from the Phillies as a part of the Roy Oswalt deal, will be promoted from Triple-A Oklahoma City to be the Astros starting shortstop.

“We believe that Jonathan Villar makes us a better ball club and that’s why we’re making the move,” said Porter.

The shake up signals a major shift in the Astros strategy for the remainder of the season. They now seem poised to begin calling up prospects to replace veterans who likely don’t have a future with the club beyond 2013. Villar won’t be the only Redhawk on the move, Jarred Cosart will return for his second major league start this Tuesday.

For Pena and Cedeno the writing was on the wall. They were both veterans brought in to help keep a young clubhouse on an even keel. However, the Astros have reached the point, with a 36-64 record, where playing them wasn’t really benefiting the clubs longterm future.

“Those spots were the ones we thought (were) the easiest ones to access to bring up the younger guys.” said Jeff Luhnow, Astros general manager


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