A potential Houston Astros roster if Cotts makes the team.
The Houston Astros made a small move yesterday by signing 36-year-old left-hander Neal Cotts to a minor league deal. The Astros only have Tony Sipp currently projected to be on the Opening Day roster. There were rumors earlier in the offseason that the Astros reached out to 40-year-old Randy Choate, but nothing every happened there. Could the Astros go without a second left-hander in the bullpen, yes, but they see Sipp as a more of a lock down set up guy. With the Cotts signing, this confirms a belief that I have had that the Astros don’t have too much faith in Kevin Chapman.
The Astros have a young rising prospect in Michael Freeman who could be ready at some point this season, but until he is ready, they could use the depth from the left side of the rubber. This season represents the first time in about a decade where much is expected of this team going into the season. The issue is that there is already limited space on the roster as is, adding Cotts to the roster would hurt someone’s chance of making the roster.
This reason was why I though the Astros would not bother signing a left-hander, but then again they brought Joe Thatcher back last season after he took a month off after the Astros releasing him. Being a lefty who has a good arm is very valuable in today’s sabermetric driven baseball world. Matchups are key, but the Astros do have a few right-handers who can limit damage just as well as a lefty.
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According to Brian McTaggart, Cotts has an opt-out clause that can be used if he is not on the roster on March 26 or June 1st. Knowing a little how the Astros operate, they like the words control and depth, they will most likely add Cotts to the roster come opening day just to hold onto him.
Here is my roster, should Cotts make the team.
Designated hitter (1)
- Ken Giles
- Luke Gregerson
- Tony Sipp
- Will Harris
- Pat Neshek
- Josh Fields
- Neal Cotts
- Scott Feldman or Dan Straily
There are too many players who could make the Astros opening day roster, but not enough spots on the roster. This is called depth, and it’s going to be what makes the Astros successful this year. Jon Singleton could get the nod over Tucker until Gattis is ready to return, depending on how Jon responds this spring. This summer offers much intrigue for Astros fans as we are now rooting for the team to win now and in the future.
Even if Cotts does not make the opening day roster because the Astros want the extra hitter, should he stick around, he could be a big part of the Astros this year. All eyes will be on A.J. Hinch as we approach opening day to see if he shows his hands on who makes the roster, but hopefully, it will be the best players. Keep up with CTH all spring long.