It is being reported this afternoon by Brian McTaggart that Brandon Barnes and Brad Peacock both have made the Astros out of Spring Training. In addition it looks like Brandon Laird is being sent to AAA to start the season.
With the demotion of JD Martinez and the placement of Nate Freiman on waivers, it should not be surprising that Barnes made the team. Barnes is hitting .306 so far this spring with four home runs. Barnes has been able to continue the positive momentum he generated after being called up to Houston in August and then by playing in Winter Ball after the regular season. He is a capable defender at all three outfield positions and will be a likely defensive replacement for Chris Carter in the late innings.
Just because Laird was initially sent down to the minors, it does not mean that he won’t find his way to Houston at some point this season. He could prove to be a very useful utility player as the season progresses, but in the end it came down a numbers game. The fact that Laird is not currently on the 40-man roster certainly played a role in this as well.
After watching Peacock progress this Spring, it does not surprise me that he made the team. At this point his role is unclear, but unless something changes over the next week, I see him opening the year in the rotation. Alex White has been solid, but not overly impressive so far this spring. White is making the start tonight against the Nationals, so it is possible he does make the decision a little harder for Bo Porter. But after watching Peacock strike five Tigers out on Thursday, I think the fifth rotation spot is his which leaves White as the likely long man in the bullpen.
What do you think of these moves now that the composition of the Astros roster is becoming clearer?