Astros designate Ankiel for assignment

Outfielders Rick Ankiel and Fernando Martinez were each designated for assignment by the Houston Astros amid a flurry of roster moves made by the team on Monday.

Houston also optioned infielder Brandon Laird to Triple-A Oklahoma City while promoting outfielders Jimmy Paredes and Trevor Crowe from its Pacific Coast League affiliate. In addition, outfielder J.D. Martinez was activated from the 15-day disabled list.

Ankiel ranks second among Houston players with five home runs and is third on the team in RBI (11), but batted only .194 in 25 games and struck out a troubling 35 times in 62 at-bats. Martinez went just 6-for-33 (1.82) with a homer and three RBI in 11 outings after beginning the year on the DL with an oblique strain.

Paredes earned his callup after ranking fifth in the PCL with a .376 average while compiling three homers, 15 RBI and seven steals with the RedHawks. Crowe, who appeared in 205 major league games with Cleveland from 2009-11, was batting .300 with two homers, 14 RBI and a team-best 11 stolen bases through 29 games at Oklahoma City.

Martinez has been sidelined since April 20 with a right knee sprain, with the 25-year-old hitting .244 with two homers and seven RBI in 15 games prior to going on the DL.

Laird hit just .200 with two homers and five RBI over 11 contests with the Astros this year.