Astros: Breaking down the Opening Day 30-man roster

We break down the Houston Astros 30-man roster for Opening Day.

The Houston Astros revealed their 30-man roster on Thursday, and it contained a few surprises. There were, of course, all the expected names, and there were also several players who are included on a major league Opening Day roster for the first time in their careers.

Keep in mind that these rosters will be constricting to 28 in two weeks and then to 26 in four weeks, so some of these players won’t last. But hopefully they’ll all see some action here in the season’s first couple of weeks so the team can determine who stays and who goes.

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Position Players

As expected, the team is carrying three catchers in Martin Maldonado, Dustin Garneau and Garrett Stubbs. Jose Altuve, Yuli Gurriel, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and Aledmys Diaz are in the infield, while George Springer, Michael Brantley, Josh Reddick, Kyle Tucker and Myles Straw are in the outfield. No surprises here.

In total, the Astros are carrying 15 position players. The last two to make the roster were infielders Abraham Toro and Jack Mayfield, both of whom saw time with the big league club last year. Infielder Taylor Jones, who hit well recently, was left off, presumably the last position player to not make the roster.

Pitchers

Obviously the Astros are carrying 15 pitchers, too. The starters, as expected, are Justin Verlander, Lance McCullers Jr, Zack Greinke, Josh James and Framber Valdez. Veterans Ryan Pressly and Chris Devenski are in the bullpen, as is Roberto Osuna, who has yet to face live batters this summer. Apparently the team feels he’s close enough to being ready to put him on the active roster.

The remaining seven relief pitchers are Bryan Abreu, Brandon Bailey, Joe Biagini, Cristian Javier, Enoli Paredes, Cy Sneed and Blake Taylor. Of these, Biagini is the only pitcher who has significant major league experience, and he was lit up down the stretch last season. This bullpen has talent, but a great deal of uncertainty.

Taylor is the only left-hander in the bullpen, while Bailey wasn’t even on the 40-man roster until now. Paredes has some blistering stuff and Javier was mowing down hitters in the minors last year. Sneed is a candidate to go multiple innings if needed.

Look for Abreu, Paredes and Taylor to be the most likely rookies to throw meaningful innings and bridge the gap to the Pressly/Osuna tandem at the back of the bullpen. Devenski and Biagini could be in that mix as well if they can rebound from poor seasons.

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