The Astros will designate pitcher Lucas Harrell for assignment, reports Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). With Scott Feldman set to return from bereavement leave on Thursday, Houston apparently decided to remove the out-of-options righty from the active roster.
It has been quite a fall from grace for the 28-year-old, who this time last year was being named as a solid trade target for contenders. Indeed, in 2012, he threw to a 3.76 ERA in 193 2/3 innings, with a 57.2% ground ball rate and 6.5 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9. But last year was a struggle, as Harrell managed only a 5.86 ERA in 153 2/3 innings, and both struck out and walked 5.2 batters per nine. He has had a rough start to the current season as well.
With less than three years of service on his clock, Harrell will come with future control, which is certainly attractive. One major issue, however, is the fact that he is out of options, meaning that any club that trades for or claims him would need to let him work out his issues at the MLB level.