Myles Straw may have edged out Garrett Stubbs for the 26th spot on the Houston Astros roster.
There’s no telling when we will actually find out the Houston Astros 26-man roster for Opening Day, since we don’t know when Opening Day will be. So to distract us from the distressing news we’re bombarded with (I’m referring to the Texans of course), we’ll look at one of the biggest questions surrounding the Astros, which is who gets the final roster spot. Based on the Spring Training numbers, it looks like Myles Straw may have the edge over Garrett Stubbs.
There were quite a few possible candidates for the spot, but in reality it was a two-man race. Both offer plenty of versatility and can contribute in a variety of ways, and both of them have earned a roster spot despite there not being spots available for both of them.
Stubbs certainly did not do anything to hurt his case. In fact, he performed quite well, hitting .455/.625/.727 in 16 plate appearances. He had one homer, stole two bases and was tied for the club lead with five walks. So why does he not get the spot?
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Straw earned it thanks to a .429/.500/.857 line in 24 spring plate appearances. He somehow managed to hit three home runs, though one of them was an inside-the-park job. His 1.357 OPS narrowly edged out Stubbs’ 1.352 mark.
For me, what’s most telling is the fact that Straw had 50 percent more plate appearances than Stubbs did this spring. Admittedly, it’s a small sample, but it’s telling that Straw made more trips to the plate.
Beyond that, Straw has earned it with his prior play as well. He hit a respectable .269/.378/.343 in 56 games for the Astros in 2019, while Stubbs hit .200/.282/.286 in 19 games. Straw’s blinding speed would be an asset in late game situations and could be used as a defensive replacement in the outfield if need be.
Stubbs does have the ability to be the emergency third catcher, so he does have that going for him. Both players have become versatile, with Straw learning shortstop and Stubbs learning second base and the outfield. It’s hard to say that giving Stubbs the job would be a wrong decision, which is what makes this so difficult.
But Straw just seems to have earned it more, and I would venture to guess that the front office is leaning in his direction. Stubbs would probably be the first position player up in the event of an injury, so he could spend plenty of time on the major league roster this year. But for Opening Day (whenever it may come), I’d go with Straw.