Which Houston Astros players would benefit from the purported expansion of active MLB rosters to 29?
Due to the delay in the 2020 season, the MLBPA and commissioner’s office have agreed to a few different changes in the season. Some of these changes are temporary and will only last a few weeks and others will impact the entire season. One of these changes is the addition of three more roster spots on each team for the first month of the season, meaning the Houston Astros will have some decisions to make.
This change to a 29-man roster will help the teams manage the players’ workloads as we tip-toe back into baseball. This season was already to be different than normal with the addition of a 26th roster spot up from the 25 of years past.
Not only will these three additional roster spots help out with pitching and giving players extra rest, it will provide some with service-time that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. There haven’t been any “rules” added to how the 29-player roster has to be filled out so we’re just going to assume that for the month that this happens it can be any 29 men that the team sees fit.
In this article, we are going to take a look at who will most likely take the extra three roster spots.
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Stubbs was recently optioned to Triple-A, but that really won’t matter as he should take one of these roster spots. He will give the team some well-needed flexibility thanks to his ability to catch and play the outfield, and he has even worked out in the infield as well.
Having three catchers on the big-league roster will make sense if that third catcher can play multiple positions and also be there if needed the day after a double-header.
Abreu didn’t set the world on fire in either of his minor league stops last season. However, whenever he made his MLB debut he was tough as nails in his short stint wearing the blue and orange.
Having extra roster spots makes Abreu a top candidate to make the roster. He was making a pretty solid case for himself to be in the bullpen anyway, and now that there is extra room to spare, giving him a month in The Show to prove he belongs seems like a given.
Service time is always a hot topic with young players and prospects. Javier is the Astros’ sixth-rated prospect according to MLB.com and has had a fairly impressive MiLB career.
If we don’t take into account whatever service time rules are applied for this anomaly of a baseball year, then one could assume that Javier would be one of the Astros top choices to have an extended tryout at the major league level when play resumes.
Of course, if service-time behaves in a somewhat normal manner, then the Astros may not want to start Javier’s clock just to get a month’s worth of starts out of him before they send him back down. Then again, he could come out on fire and be the rotation presence the Astros very desperately need.
Assuming there are no restrictions on how many hitters and pitchers can be on the roster during this period, it is strongly believed most teams will go with a 15/14 split of arms/bats for the first month of the season. The Astros are more likely to employ this roster makeup as well considering the majority of the reserves can play multiple positions on the infield and outfield.