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Astros Lineup: Trading Surplus Talent is Not the Answer

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The Astros seem to have too many players to fit them all onto the 25-man roster come opening day. The Astros have built up assets for several years, in a way similar to what the Houston Rockets have done. The key to good teams is the depth of the talent in the majors and minors.

Depth on your team is a good thing to have, because injuries do happen. The last few years, when a starting pitcher went down, besides Collin McHugh none of the replacement players helped much. So is trading your leading home run hitter worth it?

The Outfield

The Astros have many outfielders who have earned a spot on the 2015 25-man roster. George Springer is a must start in right field. Astros fans have waited for a few years for Springer’s debut. Besides a shortened season due to leg issues, he didn’t disappoint the fans by clobbering 20 home runs in his rookie campaign.

Colby Rasmus and his eight million dollar contract ensures that he will be an everyday player, at least in the beginning of the season. He plays great defense and can hit 20+ home runs, but he can also strikeout a few times as well.

The Astros traded for Evan Gattis this offseason, with the intent of him being the every day left fielder. He played left in 48 games in 2013. Maybe playing in the outfield is like riding a bike, after a year off, you can hop right back on. Unless the designated hitter position opens up, he has to play somewhere.

The leftovers include Jake Marisnick, Robbie Grossman, Alex Presley, and L.J. Hoes. Jake Marisnick is the best of these four players, but he needs to be getting everyday at bats. Robbie Grossman has earned a spot on the 25-man roster, but Alex Presley and his $1M contract will make it difficult for Grossman to make the team. Hoes is either going to start the year in AAA or will be released by the Astros. Hoes was once a promising prospect, but has not lived up to expectations in the majors.

Let’s say we trade Grossman or Marisnick–what happens when one of the outfielders gets hurt? Instead of replacing them with Marisnick, you replace them with Presley. It’s better to hang on to what you have, for when you need it later. If anything needs to be done, maybe it’s parting ways with Presley, but the Astros would have to eat the contract they signed him for.

To be honest, I am scared of trying to trade Chris Carter to put Gattis at DH. I think Carter is more valuable on the Astros than they would receive in a trade. If we really want to trade last year’s Astros home run champ, wait unitl the trade deadline when we could get more for him. His value could be the highest it will ever be, but it’s a gamble the Astros should be willing to take.

The rotation

While there has not been much specific talk of trading a pitcher, I’m sure Astros fans wouldn’t mind losing Scott Feldman for the right price. The first four rotation slots are pretty much etched in stone, there are several players battling it out for the fifth spot. Roberto Hernandez, Asher Wojciechowski, Dan Straily, Samuel Deduno, and Mark Appel. The strongest showings has been Wojciechowski and Hernandez, but the others have shown flashes of brilliance.

Many fans have suggested the Astros go out a trade for an ace pitcher, such as Cole Hamels, but the Astros have already stripped off a layer of the minor league depth with the Evan Gattis trade. Jeff Luhnow has many young cards in the system, and it’s too early to be playing those cards before they are really ready to win.

Let the season play out before we start panicking about too many players. Injuries happen, as well as players not playing up to par. It’s like in fantasy baseball, if you draft too soon, you have too much time to think about the makeup of the team. Two more weeks til we find out who makes the opening day roster!

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