Astros News

Astros: Once Altuve, Springer & Co. return, who stays and who goes?

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HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 04: Manager A.J. Hinch #14 of the Houston Astros and general manager Jeff Luhnow talk during batting practice at Minute Maid Park on April 4, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 04: Manager A.J. Hinch #14 of the Houston Astros and general manager Jeff Luhnow talk during batting practice at Minute Maid Park on April 4, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – MARCH 30: Collin McHugh #31 of the Houston Astros throws a pitch in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on March 30, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

For the sake of the remainder of this article, I’m going to assume one thing. Yordan Alvarez is here to stay. With all of the hype preceding his call-up and the results thereafter, I have a feeling he isn’t going anywhere. I don’t think they waited to call him up safely after that “Super 2” date for nothing.

Now, we have to make room on the roster for seven returning players, barring they all return to health, with no setbacks, and no other injuries occur in that time frame.

I think the first group of players that are most likely to leave are the recent call-ups, other than Yordan Alvarez. That would be Myles Straw, Jack Mayfield, Derek Fisher, and Garrett Stubbs. That still leaves three spots to clear on the roster.

I feel the powers to be will have no choice but to go back to the 13 pitcher count on the active roster before Guduan was optioned down. Mainly due to the fact that the most likely pitchers to go would be Cionel Perez and/or Framber Valdez, both lefties. Returning pitchers Smith and McHugh are both right-handed and swapping these to with Perez and Valdez would leave the pen void of any left-handed relief.

My scenario plays out like this. Collin McHugh returns to the starting rotation. Framber Valdez goes back to the bullpen for long relief and to keep a lefty available. That leaves Cionel Perez left to be the pitcher returning to the Minors.

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