Astros trim roster to 26 players
The Astros moved a huge step closer to finalizing their roster on Monday, trimming their Spring Training roster to 26 players.
Astros manager Bo Porter, general manager Jeff Luhnow and assistant general manager David Stearns brought nine players into an upstairs conference room inside the team’s clubhouse at Osceola County Stadium and informed them they were making an Opening Day roster for the first time: right-handers Brad Peacock and Alex White, left-hander Xavier Cedeno, infielder Matt Dominguez, catcher Carlos Corporan and outfielders Justin Maxwell, Brandon Barnes, Chris Carter and Fernando Martinez.
“It’s pretty special to be on an Opening Day roster and to have nine guys, this being their first time, we saw it fitting to get all those guys together and kind of let them share in the moment together,” Porter said.
“What we did today was the same thing I did last year with [manager Brad] Mills was one of the more enjoyable experiences that a general manager will have,” Luhnow said. “We had a pretty large, significant group of players who had never been on an Opening Day roster before and to be able to bring them all in a room at this time of year when people are nervous about getting called into a room and notify them that not only are they making an Opening Day roster for the first time, but they’re part of history [is fun].
“As the Astros move to the American League to begin the second part of the century, it’s a significant event, not just for the Astros, but for baseball. Because they are going to be on an Opening Day roster for a first time, they’re young and their futures are ahead of them are they’re doing it all together. It’s incredible, the look on their faces. Some of them were expecting it but until you hear it and know you’re going to be a part of it. … When they’re there Sunday night and lining up between first base and second base and seeing the American flag behind them and Texas flag in front of them and 45,000 Astros fans, it’s going to hit them this is a special moment.”
The team also informed these non-roster players they wouldn’t make the club: right-hander Jose Valdez, left-hander Kevin Chapman, infielder Brandon Laird, catcher Rene Garcia and infielder Jose Martinez. They will travel with the team to Houston for this weekend’s exhibition games against the Cubs at Minute Maid Park.
Also, right-hander Chi-Jen Lo was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Here’s who’s left on the roster:
INFIELDERS (6) — Jose Altuve, Matt Dominguez, Marwin Gonzalez, Ronny Cedeno, Carlos Pena and Brett Wallace.
OUTFIELDERS (5) — Chris Carter, Rick Ankiel, Brandon Barnes, Fernando Martinez and Justin Maxwell.
CATCHERS (2) — Jason Castro, Carlos Corporan.
PITCHERS (13) — Hector Ambriz, Erik Bedard, Xavier Cedeno, Rhiner Cruz, Josh Fields, Edgar Gonzalez, Lucas Harrell, Philip Humber, Bud Norris, Brad Peacock, Jose Veras, Alex White and Wesley Wright.
- Bedard has won the fifth starter spot, so Peacock and White are going for the fourth spot. The other will pitch in bullpen.