Astros Roster Predictions: The Bullpen

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Mar 2, 2015; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Luke Gregerson (44) simulates throwing off the mound during morning work outs at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In our last piece in the Astros roster predictions for Opening Day, it’s for potentially the biggest factor to success this season: the bullpen. We all broke down the main candidates for closer, along with three others who will be on the team. The last two spots though definitely revealed some interesting names.

Closer
We were pretty much split right down the middle, and it’s down to two men: Luke Gregerson and Chad Qualls.

Ryan Gonzalez
Luke Gregerson: This isn’t an easy choice as I could legitimately see Qualls, Neshek, or Fields in this role. But the Astros paid Gregerson some money and believe in him being able to finish out games. He’ll be given the opportunity early, but there will be many others who can step in and take over if he fails.

Brian Del Castillo
Luke Gregerson: Ever since we signed Gregerson and Neshek, I assumed that Qualls would be our 7th inning man, Neshek the 8th inning, and Gregerson the closer.

Kennon Riley
Chad Qualls

Thomas O’Banion
Gregerson seems like the choice to be the closer, but it is possible that they start with a closer by committee until someone proves themselves comfortable in that role.

Eric Huysman
Luke Gregerson: With the money the Astros spent on Luke Gregerson, he will be given the chance to succeed where he has failed in the past. Should he struggle, Chad Qualls will get next opportunity. Josh Fields would be third in line to close.

Issa Cook
Qualls with a switch to Gregerson if he starts off poorly.

Jason Burke
Chad Qualls earned the spot with his performance last season, but his leash could be short with many more options to go with this season. The Astros put some incentives into Gregerson’s contract if he closes out games, but those could amount to being a carrot on a stick.

Verdict: Luke Gregerson will be the CTH Astros closer going into the season by a 4-3 vote.

Next: The Group of 3

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