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.
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
Will Harris and Jake Buchanan
Dan Straily and Joe Thatcher
Joe Thatcher and Brad Peacock
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.
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.
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