12/01/2004 4:41 PM ET
Astros invite five to Major League camp
Non-roster, Spring Training invitees signed to minor league contracts
HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros announced today that the club has signed five players to minor league contracts and have invited them to Spring Training: infielder Mike Coolbaugh; catchers Dax Norris and Chris Tremie; right-handed pitcher Travis Driskill; and outfielder Barry Wesson. All five will attend Major League camp in Kissimmee, Fla. as non-roster invitees. The announcement was made by general manager Tim Purpura.
Coolbaugh, Norris, and Tremie each attended big league camp with the Astros in 2004, with Tremie appearing on the Major League roster for the last two weeks of the season after having his contract purchased by the club on Sept. 19. He appeared in one game and did not record a plate appearance. In 69 games for Triple A New Orleans last season, the 35-year-old Tremie hit .241 (47x195) with two home runs and 24 RBI.
Coolbaugh, 32, hit .295 (119x404) with 30 home runs and 82 RBI for New Orleans in 2004, tying him with Phil Hiatt for the Zephyrs' home run lead last season. The 32-year-old Norris hit .233 (21x90) with two home runs and nine RBI in 29 games for New Orleans in 2004 and posted a .319 (65x204) average while hitting six home runs and driving in 33 runs in 57 games for Double A Round Rock.
Driskill, 33, appeared in five games for Colorado in 2004, recording no decisions and a 6.48 ERA (6ER/8.1IP). Driskill also pitched in 28 games (13 starts) for Triple A Colorado Springs, posting a 5-5 record with a 5.40 ERA (67ER/111.2IP) and two saves. He previously pitched in the Houston organization for Triple A New Orleans from 2000-01. In 54 career combined Major League games (19 starts) with Baltimore (2002-03) and Colorado, Driskill is 11-13 with a 5.29 ERA (111ER/189IP) and one save.
Wesson, 27, hit .233 (38x163) with three home runs and 24 RBI in 45 games for Triple A Salt Lake in 2004. He was claimed on waivers by Anaheim on Sept. 3, 2002 from Houston after spending the first eight years of his professional career (1995-2002) in the Houston organization. In 25 combined Major League games between the Astros (2002) and Angels (2003), Wesson has hit .194 (6x31) with one home run and four RBI.