Astros Roster Predictions: The Bullpen

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Sep 28, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Joe Thatcher (54) pitches to the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Final Two
We were all over the place here as some produced a long reliever, others did not. Now let’s break it down.

Ryan Gonzalez
Will Harris: I’ve mentioned before the way Jeff Luhnow spoke about Harris at the bloggers roundtable, and it’s for that reason alone that I expect him to be on the Opening Day roster as long as he doesn’t have a terrible spring.
Joe Thatcher: I believe Thatcher will make the team to be the only lefty specialist on the team. Yes, Sipp is a lefty as well, but he’s used against both types of hitters. This leaves me with saying there won’t be a long reliever on the team. The only reason I feel that way is because of how the rotation should perform this season.

Brian Del Castillo
Joe Thatcher: A lefty out of the bullpen
Asher Wojciechowski: The “loser” of the 5th rotation spot

Kennon Riley
Will Harris and Jake Buchanan

Thomas O’Banion
Dan Straily and Joe Thatcher

Issa Cook
Joe Thatcher and Brad Peacock

Eric Huysman
Will Harris and Joe Thatcher: As Ryan mentioned above, the Astros are high on Will Harris. Harris was claimed by the Astros from the Arizona Diamondbacks, which was labeled a steal at the bloggers roundtable at Fan Fest. I like Thatcher as a compliment to Pat Neshek’s delivery.

Jason Burke
Joe Thatcher because he is a proven, veteran bullpen arm that could be very useful on this team. I’m going with Straily as the long-relief option with Brad Peacock making the team as the fifth starter. If Peacock isn’t ready for Opening Day, Straily will likely be in the rotation, and that opens up a whole can of worms. I’m going to be optimistic and say Peacock will be healthy.

Verdict: Joe Thatcher (six votes) and Will Harris (three votes) will fill out the bullpen, which would leave the Astros without a long reliever. Part of it was four different pitchers being voted in as a long relief candidate, but the Astros very well might not need one this year. This brings our Opening Day roster predictions to a close, and make sure to come by tomorrow to check out the final CTH 25 man roster.

You can check out the other predictions below:
Catcher and Designated Hitter
First Base and Second Base
Third Base and Shortstop
Starting Rotation

Next: The Astros Announce Spring Training Rotation

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