C Brian McCann
C Juan Centeno
INF Yuli Gurriel
INF Jose Altuve
INF Alex Bregman
INF Carlos Correa
UTIL Marwin Gonzalez
OF George Springer
OF Josh Reddick
OF Derek Fisher
OF Cameron Maybin
DH/OF Carlos Beltran
C/DH Evan Gattis
The Astros’ will likely carry 13 position players compared to 12 pitchers in the ALDS. One key reason, which Eric Huysman highlighted here, was the catcher and designated hitter situation. At this point, I would think Juan Centeno has a leg up on Max Stassi for the third catcher job.
The remaining position players are easy to decipher why they are on the postseason roster. It’s not even worth mentioning why the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer are on the postseason roster. I’m not sure why I wasted time to even write that sentence.
But there are a few players included that some may feel like is worthy to question.
For example, Carlos Beltran and his 76 wRC+. In a way, I do feel like the respected veteran card is played and it does make some sense. But the value Beltran brings to the clubhouse cannot be quantified. And it’s obvious his presence and experience rubbed off on his young teammates. Plus, there is the matchup value to consider. His 90 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers when he bats left-handed is below-average, but this is much better than his 34 wRC+ as a right-handed batter against left-handed pitching. Definitely not great, and I may be reaching with that split. No, wait, I definitely am. But, once again, the postseason experience is a factor.
The addition of Cameron Maybin and Derek Fisher makes sense in the outfield. You need outfielders in the postseason. Evan Gattis brings value as a catcher and designated hitter. Obviously more as a catcher, but you get the point. He can be used as a DH in place of Beltran in plenty of matchups. The rest of the position players are self-explanatory. Remember that the Astros had a league-best 121 wRC+ entering Saturday. They know how to score.
The postseason roster is a delicate balancing act. As you may have noticed, this roster will likely be without Mike Fiers, Tyler Clippard, Francis Martes, Reymin Guduan and Max Stassi along with others that I’m blanking on during a Saturday night. Roster versatility is so important now. The postseason is just a different beast. But the Astros seem well-prepared to challenge such a beast.
**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs**