The Astros signed LHP Zach Duke to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Here is the story from Steve Campbell. It is a low risk signing much like the Ryan Rowland-Smith signing last season. We can only hope that this one proves to be more successful. It also could signal that the Astros are looking for a lefty with major league experience in the event that Wandy Rodriguez is traded. If Duke works out, this would give lefties Dallas Keuchel and Brett Oberholtzer more time in the minors without rushing them to the majors before they are ready.
OF Kellen Kiilsgaard announced via twitter that he is no longer with the Astros. (The move still has not been posted on MiLB.com or on Baseball America.) Kellen was a 30th round draft pick in 2010. He has been going to school over the winter as he works on his degree from Stanford. Something tells me that he will do just fine with a Stanford education and the terrific sense of humor he has shown on twitter.