Trimming the Houston Astros Roster to 25

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Mar 2, 2015; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Josh Fields (35) throws during morning work outs at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

With the team scheduled to leave Florida on Wednesday, the Houston Astros will have to trim their roster down from 30 players to 25 in the coming days in preparation for opening day. As it sits right now, there are 16 position players and 14 pitchers on the team. Generally a team will carry 12 pitchers (five starters and seven relievers) on their 25-man roster, along with nine regulars on offense and four bench players. Let’s take a stab at who will be left off of the opening day roster for the 2015 Houston Astros.

At pitcher, the team currently has Kevin Chapman, Sam Deduno, Scott Feldman, Josh Fields, Luke Gregerson, Will Harris, Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Pat Neshek, Brett Oberholtzer, Brad Peacock, Chad Qualls, Tony Sipp and Asher Wojciechowski. Sadly, Wojo is likely to be left off of the 25-man roster with non-roster invitee Roberto Hernandez likely to claim the fifth spot in the rotation.

While Wojo has had the better spring, giving the job to Hernandez gives the Astros depth with Hernandez being out of options. If the team was to go with Wojciechoski, they would lose the services of Hernandez entirely.

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This move doesn’t eliminate a roster spot however, since Hernandez still needs to be added to the roster, leaving two names to cross off of our list. Peacock will need some time to build up his arm strength before being considered to join the Houston squad, so he won’t be on the team come opening day.

The last spot will most likely go to Joe Thatcher, another non-roster invitee, who has pitched well in his time in the Grapefruit League, totaling a 1.35 ERA in 6 2/3 innings. He has eight seasons in the bigs, and a cumulative 3.40 ERA over that time. The lefty may be considered a specialist, but every out counts.

Here is the roster, as I have it:

Starters:

Keuchel, Feldman, McHugh, Oberholtzer and Hernandez.

Relievers:

Qualls, Gregerson, Neshek, Deduno, Sipp, Fields, Thatcher

This leaves Chapman and Harris in the minors are depth in case of injury, with Harris a nudge ahead due to his spring performance as the first one to get a call if the Astros need a reliever. Of course, Harris could also make the team if Josh Fields is still injured in the coming days.

Next: Offense

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