Astros roster coming into focus

The Astros made several roster moves Sunday affecting a total of eight players in Major League camp. Five players were reassigned to minor league camp: shortstop Carlos Correa, left-handed pitcher Darin Downs, catcher Tyler Heineman, right-handed pitcher James Hoyt and infielder Gregorio Petit. Three players were optioned to minor league camp: right-handed pitcher Jake Buchanan, infielder Matt Dominguez and catcher Max Stassi. Following the moves, the Astros; roster now stands at 32 players, including 30 players on the 40-man roster and two non-roster invitees.

Here’s a breakdown (locks in bold):

CATCHERS (2)

Jason Castro

Hank Conger

Breakdown: Catchers are set.

STARTING PITCHERS (7)

Dallas Keuchel

Scott Feldman

Collin McHugh

Brett Oberholtzer

Roberto Hernandez (non-roster)

Asher Wojciechowski

Brad Peacock (likely to start season on DL)

Breakdown: Considering Peacock won’t be stretched out until mid-April, it’s Hernandez and Wojciechowski for the final rotation spot. The Astros have to make a decision by Hernandez by noon Tuesday whether to play him a $100,000 roster retention bonus. He pitched well Saturday, so he’s the favorite. But if Oberholtzer, who missed a week or so on the mound because of a lat strain and illness, can’t get stretched out in time for the start of the season, Wojciechowski could be called upon.

RELIEF PITCHERS (9)

Chad Qualls

Luke Gregerson

Pat Neshek

Tony Sipp

Josh Fields

Sam Deduno

Kevin Chapman

Joe Thatcher (non-roster)

Will Harris

Breakdown: Deduno was told he’s made the club, leaving one spot in the seven-man bullpen. Harris is the only right-hander in the group, so it will come down to whether the Astros want to carry a second lefty with Sipp. Thatcher has had a terrific spring and is the favorite, though Chapman has also pitched very well. Keep in mind Fields is nursing a sore groin and might not be ready for Opening Day, which would open up another spot.

OUTFIELDERS (7)

Colby Rasmus

Jake Marisnick

George Springer

Evan Gattis

Robbie Grossman

Alex Presley

L.J. Hoes

Breakdown: Grossman has had a better spring than Presley and appears to be the favorite. Presley is out of options, however, which complicates things. Hoes is a long shot who is now nursing a sore hand.

INFIELDERS (6)

Jose Altuve

Jed Lowrie

Luis Valbuena

Marwin Gonzalez

Jonathan Villar

Jon Singleton

Breakdown: Villar has a leg up on the final spot on the infield, and the fact he’s looked good in center field only bolsters his chances. Singleton has struggled recently and is facing an uphill battle of making the club.

DESIGNATED HITTER (1)

Chris Carter

1 Comment

Brian, looks like they are moving on with the selection which is getting to the deadline on what the team can do the guys not coming up to par, like you saw, some of the players are not playing well enough for the team at this time, and sending them to minor league play so they get more playing time in before the management will look at them again !!    Looks like these are the guys I would think make the team a winning team for this next year !!!        Ralph

     

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