The Astros released outfielder Jack Cust and pitcher Zach Duke early Tuesday. It should have come as no surprise. Neither had performed at all as expected during the spring. Since both had to win spots on the roster with nothing guaranteed, their failures spelled their doom.
Cust and Duke had once been promising players. Playing ten years mostly in the American League, Cust's big years were in Oakland. With a high on base percentage and some power, the A's overlooked his leading the league in strikeouts three straight seasons in exchange for 26, 33 and 25 home runs those same three years between 2007 and 2009.
In 2011, playing for Seattle in a part time role, his numbers started to fall. The Astros brought him to camp as a non roster player with an eye toward his power helping the club in that department. After going 1-25 in the spring, the Astros cut the ties.
Duke came to spring with a shot to make the team and maybe even in the starting rotation. But, like Cust, he could not g...