The Infielders and Catchers
Aug 17, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) and shortstop Carlos Correa (1) against the Tampa Bay Rays at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
While there may not be any big surprises at second, shortstop, or third base, the biggest surprise on this proposed roster is that Chris Carter is not part of it.
Carter is currently not starting on the Astros first place team, which limits his overall value. Carter is struggling this year overall, but he remains hitless in eight pinch-hitting appearances. A.J. Hinch wants Carter on the team because he is a game changing player with his ability to hit a home run at any time. Recently, when Hinch puts Carter in a game, he has disappointed Astros fans most of the time.
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The question that Jeff Luhnow has to ask himself is, if the Astros put Carter on waivers, would someone claim him? I know the Astros still see the value in Carter, but his trade value is next to nothing right now. Carter is still relatively affordable, so the Astros would be risking losing him to another team. This idea may be a stretch, but could the Astros be worried about another repeat of losing J.D. Martinez via waivers? Could Carter rejuvenate his career with another team, maybe? However, can another team teach him to hit a breaking ball?
The breaking ball troubles by Carter will leave the infield fairly short. For my list, I kept an extra outfielder instead of calling up Jon Singleton to play first. With the loss of Carter, this would leave Valbuena and Gonzalez as the players who can play first base. To carry the extra outfielder and a 13th pitcher, they will have to rely on five players to play four spots on the infield.
Next: Outfield and Designated Hitter