Results tagged ‘ 25-man roster ’

Astros projected 25-man roster

The Astros haven’t officially announced their 25-man roster, but it certainly appears to be set. The team has 30 players in camp, four of which are injured pitchers — Alex White, Jesse Crain, Peter Moylan and Asher Wojciechowski. That leaves 26 healthy players, three of which are catchers — Jason Castro, Carlos Corporan and Carlos Perez, and Perez won’t make the club.

So here is the 25-man roster pending any injuries and trades and waiting official announcement:

PITCHERS (13)

Scott Feldman

Jarred Cosart

Brett Oberholtzer

Jerome Williams (bullpen or rotation)

Dallas Keuchel (bullpen or rotation)

Brad Peacock (bullpen or rotation)

Lucas Harrell (bullpen or rotation)

Matt Albers

Chad Qualls

Josh Fields

Anthony Bass

Kevin Chapman

Raul Valdes

CATCHERS (2)

Jason Castro

Carlos Corporan

INFIELDERS (6)

Jose Altuve

Jonathan Villar

Matt Dominguez

Marwin Gonzalez

Chris Carter (DH)

Jesus Guzman

OUTFIELDERS (4)

Robbie Grossman

Dexter Fowler

L.J. Hoes

Marc Krauss (can play 1B)

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.

Click here for reaction from Peacock and Laird.

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.

Peacock, Barnes make the club; Laird reassigned

Astros pitcher Brad Peacock was smiling ear-to-ear Monday afternoon after being informed by manager Bo Porter, pitching coach Doug Brocail and members of the front office he had made the 25-man roster.

Peacock and outfielder Brandon Barnes were among the players told they had made the club. Infielder Brandon Laird was told he was being reassigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Peacock, 25, will be on an Opening Day roster for the first time in his career after spending all of last season at Triple-A Sacramento in the Oakland organization. He made his Major League debut with Washington late in the 2011 season and was 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA in three games.

“I’m excited and hopefully I can take advantage of his opportunity,” Peacock said. “What I went through last year — I came into camp not even knowing if I had a chance — I proved myself and hopefully I can keep it going.”

Peacock, who was one of three players acquired by the Astros last month from Oakland in the Jed Lowrie trade, didn’t say if he was destined for the rotation or the bullpen. He was 12-9 with a 6.01 ERA in 28 games (25 starts) at Sacramento last year, including 6-3 with a 4.14 ERA after the All-Star break.

Laird didn’t make the club despite a terrific spring in which he hit five homers and had 12 RBIs. He fell victim to a numbers game in the infield and the fact the Astros wanted to carry five outfielders.

“I felt like I did everything I could in spring to make the team and it’s their decision,” he said. “I have to go to Triple-A and continue to play and I’ll be up there shortly. They basically said it was between me and Barnes and they wanted someone who could come in late in the game and play defense in the outfield. So, I’ll continue to go down and work and be back up shortly.”

Astros’ all-time 25-man roster

Here is the Astros’ all-time 25-man roster, as voted on by fans and a panel of experts. What do you think? Any glaring omissions?

As part of the ballclub’s season-long celebration of its 50th anniversary, an All-Time Astros 25-man roster has been selected by a combination of online fan voting and the voting of a panel of 12 experienced baseball writers and broadcasters.

The roster, which consists of 12 pitchers, 13 position players and a manager, includes starters at each position,  a five-man starting pitching rotation, a seven-man bullpen with a designated closer and five utility players. All five utility players were everyday players in their Astros careers while five of the seven members selected for the bullpen were starting pitchers while with Houston.

All-Time Astros 25-Man Roster

Starting Position Players
C: Alan Ashby
1B: Jeff Bagwell
2B: Craig Biggio
SS: Craig Reynolds
3B: Doug Rader
OF: Lance Berkman
OF: Cesar Cedeno
OF: Jose Cruz
Starting Rotation
RHP Larry Dierker
RHP Joe Niekro
RHP Nolan Ryan
RHP Roy Oswalt
RHP Mike Scott
RHP Don Wilson
Utility Players
OF Jimmy Wynn
1B Bob Watson
2B Joe Morgan
2B Bill Doran
3B Ken Caminiti
Bullpen
RHP J.R. Richard
RHP Shane Reynolds
LHP Mike Hampton
RHP Roger Clemens
RHP Dave Smith
Closer
LHP Billy Wagner
Manager
Larry Dierker

PANEL OF JUDGES

The panel of 12 judges that helped select the All-Time Roster have over 200 seasons combined of covering Astros baseball. 
-Brian McTaggart – MLB.com Astros beat writer
-Zachary Levine – Houston Chronicle beat writer
-Richard Justice – MLB.com columnist
-Charlie Pallilo – Sports Talk 790 AM
-Milo Hamilton – HOF Astros radio broadcaster
-Rene Cardenas – Writer, former Spanish broadcaster
-Gene Elston – HOF former Astros radio broadcaster
-Matt Thomas – Sports Talk 790 AM
-Mickey Herskowitz – former Houston Chronicle writer
– Bill Brown – Astros TV broadcaster
-Ivy McLemore – Former Houston Post Sports Editor
-Mark Berman – Fox 26 Sports Director/sportscaster

ONLINE VOTING

As part of the online voting process, fans had the opportunity to vote on a different portion of the All-Time Roster each month from April to July.

April – Position Players (all starting positions, excluding pitcher)

May – Utility Players (the five best position players not selected to starting lineup)

June – Starting Pitchers, Closer

July – Manager, Bullpen (the top six pitchers not named to the starting rotation or as closer).

Another shot at the 25-man roster

Teams must have their 25-man rosters set by 4 p.m. CT Wednesday, and it’s likely the Astros will have made their final decisions prior to Wednesday afternoon’s exhibition game against the White Sox at Minute Maid Park.

After announcing Sunday they were optioning Brett Wallace to Triple-A, the Astros officially have 31 players remaining in camp. One of those, pitcher Sergio Escalona, is going to be out for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, meaning the Astros have five remaining cuts to make.

If shortstop Jed Lowrie (sprained right thumb) and center fielder Jordan Schafer (nerve in left hand) aren’t ready to go, they could also be put on the DL, opening up two more spots on the Opening Day roster.

With only a few days until Opening Day, let’s take another shot at the projected roster. And for the purposes of this exercise, we’re going to assume Lowrie and Schafer won’t be disabled.

Position player starters are listed in bold:

Catchers (2) – Jason Castro, Chris Snyder.

  • Analysis: This is set.

Infield (6) — Carlos Lee (1B), Jose Altuve (2B), Jed Lowrie (SS), Chris Johnson (3B), Marwin Gonzalez, Matt Downs.

  • Analysis: When we did this about 10 days ago, we had Wallace as the sixth infielder. The four starters and Gonzalez are set, and I still think Downs lands a spot because of the year he had last year and the fact he can do so much. Brian Bixler, who was sent out of camp and brought back, has had a nice spring, though, and is also versatile.

Outfield (5) – J.D. Martinez (LF), Jordan Schafer (CF), Brian Bogusevic (RF), Travis Buck, Justin Ruggiano

  • Analysis: I’ve made one switch here from 10 days ago, giving Ruggiano a backup outfield spot over J.B. Shuck. I just think Ruggiano’s ability to go deep on occasion and the fact he swings from the right side of the plate in an outfield full of left-handers makes him valuable. Of course, If Schafer isn’t ready to go, that opens up a spot for Shuck.

Starting rotation (5) — Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris, J.A. Happ, Kyle Weiland, Lucas Harrell.

  • Analysis: With Livan Hernandez out of the picture, I believe that solidifies Weiland in the rotation. He’s had a very good spring. The other spot comes down to Lucas Harrell and Jordan Lyles. I’m giving the nod right now to Harrell, who pitches tonight in Corpus Christi. At 21, Lyles could benefit from some time at Triple-A.

Bullpen (7) — Brett Myers, Wilton Lopez, David Carpenter, Fernando Rodriguez, Brandon Lyon, Wesley Wright, Rhiner Cruz.

  • Analysis: The changes I’ve made here are Wright getting the left-handed spot over Fernando Abad and Rule 5 pick Cruz making the club. Cruz has been hit or miss, but the more I hear general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager Brad Mills talk about him, the more I think they want to keep him. And there’s a spot open in the bullpen. If Lyles makes the rotation, Harrell could get the last bullpen spot as a long reliever. But the Astros have had a few of their relievers pitch two consecutive innings this spring in an effort to minimize the need for a long reliever.

Another shot at the 25-man roster

We’re one week away from the start of the Astros season and Opening Day in Philadelphia. Astros staffers are already packing up boxes and will put them on the truck, which will leave for Minute Maid Park this weekend. The team has four remaining games in Florida, including tonight’s game against the Yankees in Tampa, before leaving Tuesday morning for an exhibition game in Oklahoma City.

The roster is slowly starting to take shape in the last few days, but there are still 36 healthy players in camp so there are plenty of more cuts to come.

Since the last time I tried to predict the Opening Day roster a couple weeks ago, I’ve already been proven to be wrong. Tommy Manzella was optioned to Minor League camp, and Ryan Rowland-Smith is out of the running for the rotation. Not surprisingly, things changed and I missed the mark with a couple of those.

So let’s try it again:

CATCHERS (2)

Humberto Quintero

J.R. Towles

Comment: Both have had a nice spring at the plate, and unless the Astros find another catcher in the next week, it looks like Quintero and Towles will split the catching duties. What is known is that Quintero is a lock.

INFIELDERS (6)

Brett Wallace (L)

Bill Hall

Clint Barmes

Chris Johnson

Matt Downs

Angel Sanchez

Comment: I’m swapping Manzella for Sanchez, who’s out of options. The Astros like his bat, but the problem is he doesn’t run very well and he’s not as versatile on defense as Anderson Hernandez, who’s a switch-hitter. Unless J.B. Shuck makes the club in the outfield — see below — or Carlos Corporan gets a catching spot, the Astros won’t have any left-handers on the bench, which could bode well for Hernandez. Still, I’m picking Sanchez.

OUTFIELDERS (5)

Carlos Lee

Hunter Pence

Michael Bourn (L)

Jason Michaels

Jason Bourgeois

Comment: I’m sticking with Bourgeois, especially now that Brian Bogusevic is out of the picture. I can’t imagine the Astros would go with J.B. Shuck, who barely got his feet wet at Triple-A last year, to have a reserve role in the outfield. Shuck has performed well in Florida, but so has Bourgeois. Sure, he’s right-handed, but he plays great defense and can fly, so he’d get plenty of chances to pinch-run. He also swung the bat well this spring.

STARTING PITCHERS (5)

Brett Myers

Wandy Rodriguez (L)

J.A. Happ (L)

Bud Norris

Nelson Figueroa

Comment: This is set.

RELIEF PITCHERS (7)

Brandon Lyon (closer)

Wilton Lopez

Mark Melancon

Jeff Fulchino

Enerio Del Rosario

Henry Villar

Ryan Rowland-Smith (L)

Comment: Yes, I’ve omitted left-hander Fernando Abad and the two Rule 5 guys — Lance Pendleton and Anuery Rodriguez. Abad has really struggled this spring after a great showing in winter ball, so perhaps he could start the season in Triple-A until he gets it ironed out. If Abad and non-roster invitee Gustavo Chacin don’t make the team, that would leave Rowland-Smith, who’s out of options, as the left-handed specialist. I think he’s probably more served to be a long relief-type pitcher, but he does have more appearances in his career in the bullpen than as a starter.

I think the only locks are Lyon and Lopez. I’m pretty sure Melancon and Del Rosario have put pitched themselves onto the team, and Fulchino has performed well despite Thursday’s hiccup. Then there’s Villar, who’s been throwing two-inning stints with some good success. I really don’t have much confidence in any of these guesses beyond Lyon and Lopez, so stay tuned.

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.

Day 40: Wandy struggles again, roster comes into focus

Say what you will about the health of Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman and the concerns about young players at shortstop and catcher, but left-hander Wandy Rodriguez means as much to the Astros success in 2010 than anyone.

That’s why the club has to be concerned about Rodriguez, who had a poor spring. He was battered for nine hits and nine runs in 2 1/3 innings in his final Grapefruit League start Thursday against Atlanta, finishing with a 1-4 record and a 12.10 ERA.

“I’m worried because I don’t feel ready and the season’s here,” said Rodriguez, who flew to Houston on Wednesday night to be with his wife, who’s scheduled to give birth to the club’s second daughter on Tuesday.

Rodriguez, who led the team in innings, wins and strikeouts last year, allowed at least three earned runs in five of his six spring outings and never pitched more than four innings. Astros manager Brad Mills said Rodriguez and pitching coach Brad Arnsberg will keep working before he takes the mound Tuesday against the Giants.

“They have to keep moving and working on something,” Mills said. “That first inning seems to be a pretty good bugaboo.”

_____________________________________________________________________________

Roy Oswalt threw 81 pitches in 5 2/3 innings in a Minor League game Wednesday and said he feels ready to go for Monday’s opener. He was caught by J.R. Towles, and Carlos Lee (2-for-7) and Tommy Manzella also played in Minor League games. Manzella got tested on defense and could finally return to the lineup Thursday.

_____________________________________________________________________________ 

 

The Astros’ roster is at 25 players after Lance Berkman, Alberto Arias and Yorman Bazardo were placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday and non-roster outfielder Jason Bourgeois was told he would begin the season in the Minor Leagues.

Houston has yet to officially announce its roster, so nothing is set in stone. Cory Sullivan, a non-roster outfielder, appears to have won a spot, and manager Brad Mills confirmed Sammy Gervacio has won a spot in the bullpen.

Thus, here’s the roster as it stands now with 25 men:

CATCHERS (2) — J.R. Towles, Humberto Quintero.

INFIELDERS (6) — Geoff Blum, Kaz Matsui, Tommy Manzella, Pedro Feliz, Jeff Keppinger, Chris Johnson.

OUTFIELDERS (5) — Carlos Lee, Michael Bourn, Hunter Pence, Jason Michaels, Cory Sullivan.

PITCHING STAFF (12) — Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers, Bud Norris, Felipe Paulino, Brian Moehler, Jeff Fulchino, Sammy Gervacio, Chris Sampson, Tim Byrdak, Matt Lindstrom, Brandon Lyon.

DISABLED LIST (3) — Lance Berkman, Alberto Arias, Yorman Bazardo.

Mills also said Bud Norris would start the fourth game of the season, which certainly comes as no surprise.

What happens to the rotation after that is a mystery. The Astros could bring Roy Oswalt back on regular rest Saturday and go with a four-man rotation, or they could give the ball to Felipe Paulino. But Paulino was having a hard time moving Wednesday after suffering from a back spasm.

Stay tuned.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Here’s the breakdown from Wednesday’s 10-5 loss to the Braves at ESPN Wild World of Sports at DisneyWorld:

The good: Michael Bourn went 2-for-3 and is ending the spring on a hot streak. He has six hits in his last eight at-bats and is hitting .302. Kat Masui went 2-for-4 and is hitting .294, and Pedro Feliz (2-for-4) and Chris Johnson (2-for-3) continued their strong springs.

Johnson, who was told Wednesday morning he had made the Opening Day roster, is hitting .302 this spring and leads the Astros in home runs (six) and RBIs (17).

Brian Moehler, who will start the season in long relief out of the bullpen, threw two scoreless innings and Chris Sampson threw another scoreless inning to lower his ERA to 2.31. Gervacio showed he was human by allowing two hits and one run in one inning.

The bad: Wandy Rodriguez allowed nine hits and nine earned runs in 2 1/3 innings in his final spring start. Rodriguez got knocked around all spring, finishing 1-4 with a 12.10 ERA. The Astros have to hope Wandy gets things ironed out before he pitches Tuesday against the Giants.

What they said: “I feel great again, but I don’t know what happened with me. I think maybe my location, but I threw a lot of quality pitches today and some of them they swung badly and they got a base hit.” – Rodriguez.

What’s next: The Astros wrap up Grapefruit League action by playing host to the Detroit Tigers at 12:05 p.m. CT at Osceola County Stadium. Casey Daigle, a non-roster invitee who was reassigned to the Minor Leagues earlier this week, will start for the Astros. Jeff Fulchino, Matt Lindstrom, Tim Byrdak and Brandon Lyon are also scheduled to pitch. The game could mark the return of shortstop Tommy Manzella, who hasn’t played in nearly two weeks because of a strained quadriceps muscle.

 

Johnson makes team, Astros get roster to 25 players

With first baseman Lance Berkman and pitchers Alberto Arias and Yorman Bazardo going on the disabled list Wednesday, the Astros saw their roster trimmed to 26 players. Manager Brad Mills then informed rookie third baseman Chris Johnson he had made the Opening Day roster for the first time, putting them at 25 players ahead of Sunday’s deadline to set the 25-man roster.

Outfielder Jason Bourgeois, who battled hamstring injuries for much of the spring, was reassigned to Minor League camp, but he will travel with the team to Houston this weekend.

Geoff Blum will start at first base on Opening Day, and Johnson’s role remains unclear. Things could change between now and Sunday (waiver claims, injuries, etc.), but here are the 25 players the Astros have remaining in camp:

CATCHERS (2) — J.R. Towles, Humberto Quintero.

INFIELDERS (6) — Geoff Blum, Kaz Matsui, Tommy Manzella, Pedro Feliz, Jeff Keppinger, Chris Johnson.

OUTFIELDERS (5) — Carlos Lee, Michael Bourn, Hunter Pence, Jason Michaels, Cory Sullivan.

PITCHING STAFF (12) – Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers, Bud Norris, Felipe Paulino, Brian Moehler, Jeff Fulchino, Sammy Gervacio, Chris Sampson, Tim Byrdak, Matt Lindstrom, Brandon Lyon. 

DISABLED LIST (3) — Lance Berkman, Alberto Arias, Yorman Bazardo.

 

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.

 

 

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