The Astros’ have announced the opening day 25-man roster for the 2019 season, including ten players that weren’t on the opening day roster in 2018.
The season to “Take it Back” begins in four days for the Houston Astros. The team will be traveling back home after playing the final game of their Spring Training down in West Palm Beach, Florida. There have been some interesting battles for positions, but the dust has settled and the opening day 25-man roster has been set.
After what seemed to be a long offseason, a few favorite players will be missing from the team and some new faces have taken their place. There are a couple of players making their first opening day roster and some promising prospects sent back to the minors to return another day. But the core team of veterans is returning, a few with shiny new contracts.
Introducing the 2019 Houston Astros:
The starting rotation has had somewhat of a facelift. Their #1 and #2 starters Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are the only two returning from last seasons crew. Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock will be coming out of the bullpen and reprising their roles as starters. Wade Miley is the new addition to the team, acquired as a free agent in the offseason.
Chris Devenski, Will Harris and Hector Rondon are the three relief pitchers that are returning from last seasons opening day roster. They will be rejoined by last year’s mid-season pickups, Roberto Osuna and Ryan Pressly. Making their first opening day roster are prospects Josh James and Framber Valdez.
Max Stassi is returning with the team and will be platooning with Robinson Chirinos, who will be wearing the Astro uniform for the first time after Houston brought him in from free agency. Chirinos brings seven years of experience with him, six of those with the Texas Rangers.
The infield will be manned by the familiar faces of Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa at second third and short respectively. Yuli Gurriel will most likely be the primary player occupying first base. The two utility players will be Aledmys Diaz and Tyler White. They both have experience in the different infield positions and may even be used in the outfield on the rare occasion. White may be the principal designated hitter.
The newest member of the outfield squad is Michael Brantley, another free agent pickup. He’ll be playing in left field with George Springer and Josh Reddick in center and right. Tony Kemp and Jake Marisnick won out the Spring competition for the backup outfielders, Kemp making his first time on an opening day roster.
If you ask me that looks like a winning roster. Of course, the 25-man roster is like a living thing, changing and morphing as the need requires it. I’m sure we’ll see some of the prospects, that impressed us so much during Spring Training, come up sometime this year. So stay tuned, the 2019 season is just a few days away.