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04/30/08 8:14 PM ET

Astros option Cassel to Triple-A

Team likely to activate Wigginton from DL on Friday

PHOENIX -- Following the Astros' series and road trip finale with the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, the club optioned right-hander Jack Cassel to Triple-A Round Rock.

The Astros will soon need a roster spot for Ty Wigginton, assuming the third baseman completes his rehab assignment from a fractured left thumb without any setbacks. If Wigginton is healthy, he'll likely be activated from the disabled list prior to Friday's homestand opener with the Brewers.

"Talking to [manager Cecil Cooper] over the next couple of days, we're going to try to get down to 12 pitchers and 13 position players," assistant general manager Ricky Bennett said. "We'll have a corresponding move on Friday. If all goes well [in Wigginton's final rehab game], and he feels good [Thursday], we're hoping to activate him as soon as Friday."

Cassel, 27, was 1-0 with a 5.59 ERA over two starts. He earned the win in his first outing in Cincinnati, allowing three runs over five innings in a 5-3 Houston win on Thursday. On Tuesday, Cassel threw 4 2/3 innings and yielded three runs on four hits and settled for a no-decision after not pitching the five innings necessary to qualify for the win.

Cassel, aware that Wigginton and left-hander Wandy Rodriguez are close to coming off the DL, was not surprised that he was demoted.

"I knew I was limited in my time here pretty much, coming up on Wandy's injury, and I know Wiggy's down doing his rehab assignment, so essentially it was going to be a numbers game," he said. "I was pleased with how I threw the ball in two outings and very happy that I was able to get that opportunity. I'll go down and [have] the same plan -- be the first guy they call."

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.