Taking a shot at the Astros 25-man roster

We are roughly halfway through Spring Training and the roster picture is pretty much as cloudy as it was when camp opened a month ago, and perhaps even more so with the injury to catcher Jason Castro. With so many bodies still in camp, it’s been difficult to determine which players might have the leg up, but that will not deter me.

Here’s my guess on what the Opening Day roster will look like:

CATCHERS (2)

Humberto Quintero

J.R. Towles

Comment: The Astros could still bring in another catcher in time for Opening Day, but for now I’m going to limit my prediction to the players that are still in camp.

INFIELDERS (6)

Brett Wallace (L)

Bill Hall

Clint Barmes

Chris Johnson

Matt Downs

Tommy Manzella

Comment: I still believe Wallace is going to win the first base job. Downs has looked good in camp and could bring some pop and versatility off the bench. Manzella has broadened his defensive scope and has looked good at the plate so far this spring. Angel Sanchez could still play his way into the mix, but his defense is an issue. Anderson Hernandez has played well, too.

OUTFIELDERS (5)

Carlos Lee

Michael Bourn (L)

Hunter Pence

Jason Michaels

Brian Bogusevic (L)

Comment: The only spot up for grabs is the fifth outfield spot. Bogusevic probably has a leg up on Jason Bourgeois because he hits left-handed. He runs pretty well too, but not as well as Bourgeois, who could also play second base.

STARTING PITCHERS (5)

Brett Myers

Wandy Rodriguez (L)

J.A. Happ (L)

Bud Norris

Ryan Rowland-Smith (L)

Comment: The fifth spot in the rotation remains completely up for grabs. Right now, I go with Rowland-Smith over Jordan Lyles, who has looked good but is still 20 years old and has barely had his feet wet at Triple-A. Nelson Figueroa makes the club as the long reliever.

RELIEF PITCHERS (7)

Brandon Lyon

Wilton Lopez

Fernando Abad (L)

Jeff Fulchino

Nelson Figueroa

Mark Melancon

Henry Villar

Comment: At this point, I see Lyon, Lopez, Abad and Figueroa as locks. Fulchino is healthy and pitching well, and Melancon appears to have a good chance. The last spot? Completely up for grabs. The injury to Alberto Arias may give some other guys a chance, and Villar as pitched well. Don’t count out Sergio Escalona or Enerio Del Rosario.

6 Comments

This means that you are returning A Rodriguez to TB and probably working some type of trade for Pendleton with NYY or returning him as well? TB will take A Rodriguez back for certain, likely making a trade too costly for HOU’s taste. Probably not the case with Pendleton but you never know until its time to do it. Villar is the only wild card here that I can see being sent to OKC to allow you to keep one of these guys – unless of course they displace Hyphen in the rotation, neither of them has shown this themselves to be a better choice yet though.

Corporan, the switch hitting AAA catcher, would offer a left-handed bat off the bench in place of Towles. Manzella should have an option still available to go back to AAA allowing swithch hitting utility infielder Hernandez to offer another left-handed hitter off the bench. This would allow Bogusevic and Manzella to play everyday at AAA until June. They keep 11 pitchers initially including Aneury Rodriguez and Henry Villar starts the year at AAA. Hyphen gets released or DFA’d to go to AAA for awhile.

Nelson Figueroa’s got the Fifth Starter Spot. He’s looked good this spring, always finds a way to get it done. And last year he was one of the best things about the 2nd half for the ‘stros.

Hypen goes to the bullpen to give us 2 lefties, villar goes to AAA, Figueroa is 5th starter. the rest i agree with.

Need to keep Pendleton and give him his shot. Figueroa get #5. Hyphen to the pen for his lefty slants. Villar to AAA. I like Bourgeois over BB, even with the roster packed with righties. Downs might not make the cut this time even though he’s been doing pretty well in ST. Look for another lefty for that infield slot.

Your attempt at prognostication doesn’t look too good two weeks hence. But neither does mine!

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