Rogelio Armenteros, 26, underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from right elbow this past March, so he didn’t pitch in 2020, and the former Houston Astros’ pitcher, who was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this month, was claimed again, this time by the Washington Nationals, who announced this afternoon that they’d added Armenteros to their 40-man roster by claiming him off waivers from the D-Backs.
Born in La Habana, Cuba, Armenteros signed with the Astros as an amateur free agent in 2014, and made his major league debut for Houston in 2019, going (1-1) in five games and two starts, over which he had a 4.00 ERA, a 2.77 FIP, five walks, 18 Ks, and a .243/.293/.314 line against in 18 IP.
Armenteros was primarily a starter in his five seasons in the Astros’ system, making 106 total appearances, 93 of them starts, in which he had a combined 3.45 ERA.
The righty has a four-pitch mix, with nothing particularly overpowering, working with a 91 MPH fastball, 83 MPH changeup, 79 MPH curve, and 85 MPH slider.
Armenteros was ranked 21st on MLB Pipeline’s list of the Astros’ top prospects prior to the 2019 campaign, with their scouts noting that though the 6’1’’, 243 lb pitcher, “... only has one pitch that grades better than average, he has thrived because his tumbling changeup and his feel for sequencing and locating his entire repertoire keeps hitters off balance.”
“He changes eye levels with sinking 88-90 mph two-seam fastballs and riding 90-92 mph four-seamers, and he has hit 95 mph at times. His average slider/cutter and fringy curveball rarely buckle knees but he utilizes them well off each other.”
Projecting the right-hander as a potential back-of-the-rotation starter, the Pipeline scouts noted then that, “he [had] one of the highest floors among the [Astros’] pitching prospects but no clear opportunity in Houston.”
He’ll likely get an opportunity to claim a spot in the Nationals’ rotation this spring.
In a post on the Diamondbacks claiming him earlier this month, MLBTraderumors.com’s Steve Adams noted that the right-hander has an option remaining.
Today’s move, the Nationals noted on Twitter, leaves them with 34 players currently on the 40-Man roster in D.C.