We can predict most of the guys on the Houston Astros 25-man roster, but let’s look at the 24th and 25th players.
So now what happens to the rest of the 25-man roster? We know about the big splashes the Houston Astros have made in the last couple of weeks. However, solidifying the back of our lineup and bench is also a must-do when stockpiling talent for a championship run. Fortunately, our slew of talent from 2016 will mostly be around to fill out the rest of the roster.
Who got bumped?
After the dust settled (so far) let’s break down the series of moves, and who’s been replaced:
- Brian McCann will replace Jason Castro / Evan Gattis
- Josh Reddick will replace Colby Rasmus
- Carlos Beltran will replace Jake Marisnick
- Nori Aoki will replace Teoscar Hernandez
- Charlie Morton will replace Doug Fister
Still on the Astros roster who had regular playing time in 2016 are:
- Yulieski Gurriel
- Tony Kemp
- Tyler White
- A.J. Reed
- Marwin Gonzalez
- Luis Valbuena
- Preston Tucker
Putting these players to good use, unless they are flipped to supplement other needs, can be a crucial part of compiling a championship squad.
Looking at how the Cubs put together their championship team with a young core squad, including Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo and surrounded them with veterans like Jon Lester, Dexter Fowler, and Aroldis Chapman proved to be a winning formula.
Finding any similarities yet?
Our young core of Altuve, Correa, Bregman and McCullers will certainly benefit from being surrounded by our new crop of battle-tested veterans.
Where will our 2016 Starters play?
Gurriel, White, and Reed stand to fight for a wide open first base with Gattis on the wing as your “flex” starting first baseman. Unless AJ Reed comes to life as he did in AAA, odds are the Astros starting Gurriel at first, and Gattis will platoon with McCann at catcher and tri-platoon with Beltran and McCann at DH. Hinch said he is comfortable with Gurriel at first today.
Marisnick will be the go-to late-inning defensive sub in the outfield while slotting in as a spot pinch runner as it arises. He will get some starts, especially when team is facing a left-handed pitcher.
Gonzalez was a mainstay in the 2016 Houston Astros lineup and will play the role as fill-in DH or can be placed anywhere in the infield to give the starters a rest from time to time.
Tucker, Hernandez, and Kemp, while showing flashes of brilliance at times, might have been on the cusp with last years’ squad. Given this current Astros team, these up and comers will start in the minors or be used as trade bait for some arms.
All in all, having useful subs can’t be a bad thing – and we truly got to see their potential in a variety of roles last year – but clearly Luhnow and the Astros brass were ready to go for juggernaut. This version of the Houston Astros, with a healthy mix of young talent and veteran presence, is primed for a big 2017.
And we can’t wait..