Although the Houston Astros fell 9-0 to the Miami Marlins on Friday, Manager Dusty Baker sent out the soon to be Sugar Land Skeeters behind Zack Greinke to evaluate depth. While the fourth outfielding spot is still up in the air, the team hasn’t been testing many players in centerfield, and with Steven Souza Jr. out of the picture, they will rely on unexperienced depth to open the season.
From left to right, Michael Brantley, Myles Straw and Kyle Tucker are locks for the outfield, while Yordan Alvarez will DH and be listed among this group. The issue is that the fourth outfielder will need experience in centerfield to help Straw out, and by the looks of it, Brantley and Alvarez aren’t in the best shape to fill this void. This leaves it up to a prospect to help out, although Tucker has tested the water in center this spring.
Who can be the fourth outfielder for the Astros?
As we sound like a broken record, the 40-man roster has been a tricky situation this offseason, and while currently full, the Astros have Pedro Baez waiting for a spot and Framber Valdez and Forrest Whitley missing time due to their respected injuries.
While possibly bringing up a prospect could be on the team’s mind, it still leaves an issue with 40-man spots, as the team shouldn’t designate optionable pitching for assignment to add other players. This leaves it up to two candidates one on the 40-man and one that would shake up the roster.