Astros hint they will carry 12 pitchers for the ALCS

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 01: Pitcher Collin McHugh
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 01: Pitcher Collin McHugh /

Collin McHugh will most likely be added to the Astros ALCS roster, but that decision is not clear.

While we don’t know who the Astros will face in the 2017 ALCS, the team got together for a workout at Minute Maid Park. Josh Reddick is no longer dancing around in a Speedo being drenched by alcohol. Fans will not have to hear “Sweet Caroline” anymore, except for that stupid commercial. The team has moved on from the ALDS and now focusing on the ALCS roster.

According to Jake Kaplan, A.J. Hinch announced that Dallas Keuchel would have Game 1 and Justin Verlander will have Game 2. This makes sense after Verlander was used in Game 4 of the ALDS for 2 2/3 innings. Keuchel and Verlander are both co-aces on this team.

The question is, will the ALCS roster be similar to the ALDS roster? There could be some last minute changes depending on matchups versus the Indians or Yankees. Do they go with 14 hitters like the ALDS?

One more pitcher?

While the ALDS is a short series with only five possible games, the ALCS increases to seven games. With the increased innings, the Astros would be better with another long reliever instead of the 14th hitter. That 14th hitter was Tyler White, who did not appear in a game in the ALDS. Fortunately, the offense was able to produce without White having to come in.

I’m a big White fan, but he had no role in the playoffs. He wasn’t the speedy guy off the bench, the defensive outfielder, or the backup catcher. With how Game 3 went with Brad Peacock only pitching 2 2/3 innings, they need another long reliever on the team.

McHugh fits the need.

While it hasn’t been announced who will be the third or fourth starters, it most likely will be Brad Peacock and Charlie Morton. If there is any concern as to how long Peacock could last in a game, they could always use a starter. Enter Mike Fiers!

Just kidding about Fiers, but another starter could be added to the roster in place of White. According to Kaplan, the Astros are considering the 12th pitcher for the ALCS. Kaplan also thinks what Clint wrote yesterday, could Collin McHugh be added to the roster for the ALCS?

While Peacock is likely starting, McHugh could start as well. He made a great start in Boston to end the Astros regular season. Some fans were surprised that he wasn’t on the ALCS roster with his 5-2 season with a 3.55 ERA. He missed half of the season with a dead arm, which opened the door for Peacock.

Next: Astros: Indians or Yankees the better matchup for the ALCS?

Look for McHugh to make the roster. With his experience, he adds one more veteran arm to the bullpen. McHugh could be an innings eater if another starter is knocked out early. The only other option instead of White would be Francisco Liriano, but I wrote that he would most likely stay on the roster. Who do you think wins tonight’s game between the Indians and Yankees?

***Stats from Baseball-Reference***