Astros most likely to carry three catchers in the playoffs
The Astros might carry 13 hitters, including a possible third catcher.
The Astros get their 100th win of the season last night with two games left in the regular season. After beating the Red Sox 12-2 Thursday night, it was closer last night with a 3-2 score. While last night’s game felt more like an postseason game, the roster cuts are coming.
There are some players who are already packing their bags knowing they won’t make the roster. One hint as to who will make the roster is to monitor their playing time in the last several games. You have seen players like Tyler White and Derek Fisher pinch hit late in the games.
Even though Evan Gattis is hitting into some hard outs, he is looking better at the plate. With the Astros maintaining a large lead in the AL West, Gattis has served as designated often this year. Why is that a big deal? Because Brian McCann was in the lineup as well.
Had something happened to McCann or they pinch ran for him, they would lose the DH for the rest of the game. If that happens in a regular season game, it’s not that big a deal. If that happens in a playoff game, it could be the difference in moving on or going home.
Do we need an extra catcher?
This is why manager A.J. Hinch has said that they will carry three catchers on the playoffs roster. The plan was to carry 13 hitters anyways on the ALDS roster in a short five game series. Both catchers had nice runs as the backup catcher at some point this year.
Gattis will hit DH versus the Red Sox lefties in the ALDS. This means they will carry the extra catcher, even over a more qualified hitter. So, who is the
With minor injuries to Gattis and McCann, both Max Stassi and Juan Centeno got some valuable experience. There was even a short stint when both MLB catchers were on the DL and Stassi and Centeno were handling the position. Centeno even had a GOAT stretch during his first stint with the Astros. This experience got them ready to participate in this year’s playoff run.
If you ask the fans, which Talking Stros did, they will tell you that they prefer Centeno. After last night’s game, it appeared that Centeno was able to help Ken Giles close out the 3-2 win. He was brought into the game as the catcher in the eighth inning along with Will Harris. He was able to get the final out of the inning by throwing out a runner.
Hinch appears to be setting up the roles of the players on the postseason roster. Centeno or Stassi could come in late in a game as a defensive replacement for Gattis or McCann. As Jake Kaplan said in the Tweet above, they are both auditioning for the role.
Who will the Astros roll with?
The fans would prefer Centeno, but what do the stats say?
Centeno: .208/ 2 homers/ 3 RBI
Stassi: .174/ 2 homers/ 4 RBI
It’s hard to believe that Centeno did most of his damage in a two game stint in May. During that stretch, Centeno had three hits in seven at-bats with two homers and RBIs. Centeno would be classified as the veteran player of the two.
Next: Astros: Jose Altuve has company for MVP but still stands tall
Who will make it? The favorite has to be Centeno. It’s in the eye of the beholder though. Listen to Talking Stros live following each Astros’ postseason game on SportsTalk 790! Go Astros!
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***