Projecting the 25-man roster

As I write this blog, Opening Day is three weeks away, so we’re getting down to crunch time. The Astros will begin cutting players from camp this week as they get the roster closer to 25 players than the 57 who are in camp now.

Trying to predict which 25 players will be uniform when the Astros face the Giants on April 5 is getting more difficult by the day because of injuries and some struggles in the bullpen. Still, I’m going to give it a shot and then you guys can discuss it for a few days while I take a quick break in Houston before returning to Florida.

So, here’s my guess of the 25-man roster on Opening Day:

CATCHERS (2)

J.R. Towles — Both Towles and Castro are swinging good bats this spring, but this won’t be an offensive position. They want someone to catch and handle the pitchers, etc. Eventually, that guy is going to be Castro, but considering he hasn’t played above Double-A I think he’ll start the season in Round Rock but will be starting at some point.

Humberto Quintero — LOCK

INFIELDERS (6)

Geoff Blum — LOCK

Kaz Matsui — LOCK

Tommy Manzella — LOCK

Pedro Feliz — LOCK

Jeff Keppinger — LOCK

Edwin Maysonet — I putting the versatile Maysonet in this spot over Lance Berkman, who could begin the season on the disabled list after undergoing minor knee surgery. Berkman’s goal is to be back, but the Astros are not going to rush him. If he needs a few extra days at the beginning of the season, he’ll get them. Thus, Maysonet makes the club out of spring.

OUTFIELDERS (5)

Carlos Lee — LOCK

Michael Bourn — LOCK

Hunter Pence — LOCK

Jason Michaels — He’s all but a lock. He’s got experience and has had a very nice spring after coming off a strong second half.

Cory Sullivan — I see Sullivan winning this job over Jason Bourgeois, Yordany Ramirez, Brian Bogusevic and Alex Romero. Sullivan has more experience in the Majors, he can run (not as well as Bourgeois, but he’s not slow) and he hits left-handed, which is desperately needed off the bench.

ROTATION (5)

Roy Oswalt — LOCK

Wandy Rodriguez — LOCK

Brett Myers — LOCK

Bud Norris — I’m putting him down as a lock. I don’t see any reason to believe otherwise.

Felipe Paulino — I could have just as easily put Brian Moehler here, but Paulino is coming off a good outing and, man, does he have a great arm. At the end of the day, the Astros want him in the rotation, and Moehler can pitch out of the bullpen.

RELIEF PITCHERS (7)

Matt Lindstrom — LOCK

Brandon Lyon — Assuming he’s healthy, he’s a lock

Jeff Fulchino — LOCK

Brian Moehler — LOCK

Chris Sampson — I think he’s close to a lock, as long as he finishes strong. He’s done nothing so far to indicate he won’t win a spot on the club.

Tim Byrdak — Had a bad outing Sunday against Braves, but he’s a lefty with experience and he has time to get it ironed out. I still believe fellow lefty Wesley Wright begins the season starting in Round Rock. And Byrdak is out of options.

Alberto Arias — The final spot in the bullpen is very much wide open. Arias has shoulder inflammation, so who knows how that will unfold? Sammy Gervacio is pitching pretty well and could just as easily be in this spot as well, but remember that Arias is out of options. They like his arm when healthy.

 

 

5 Comments

Can?t argue with your projected line-up; it makes sense (almost) all around. I have to disagree with one thing though: At this point I would think Romero is in front of Sullivan; he bats left, has major league experience, and he?s hitting better in ST so far.

The two guys I hope make it out of Spring training are
Maysonet, and Gervacio. Maysonet can HIT, and can
play all the infield positions. Gervacio is the next closer
for Houston. He has a few eccentric moves……..but show me
a closer who doesn’t.

I totally agree with b2too. I would love to see Gervacio make the club. I really like Maysonnet, but the Astros don’t seem to want to give him a chance. I guess I kinda understand this year. Astros love Blum (even though some fans dont), and both the Astros and fans love Kepp, which leaves Maysonnet out of the loop.

About Arias; if his back is still bad (doesn’t seem like it will be, but just in case), would they be able to DL him and have Gervacio make the camp, and Arias would be protected from other teams?

I cant argue with the projected lineup you propose. But I wonder………where will the power come from? Berkman seems to be injury-prone lately and teams will pitch around Carlos. Wandy was the best pitcher last year, but is having problems this spring, and Roy is doing well now but is getting injury-prone too.
Manzella and Towles are projects, Blum is, well, Blum; and Matsui is I-P (see above).
Rebuilding???????Again????????

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