Astros ALDS roster announced: 3 notable roster moves
The Houston Astros‘ ALDS roster is here, as they open their best-of-five series on Thursday at 3:07 p.m. For the Chicago White Sox, their roster is also set, but they will battle without former Houston hurler Dallas Keuchel.
Broken up, the Astros’ ALDS roster contains three catchers, five infielders, six outfielders and 12 pitchers. Regarding Houston, this is the first postseason roster for general manager James Click and manager Dusty Baker with a 26-man restriction, as it was a 28-man for the 2020 season.
The Astros’ ALDS is here, but who made it and who was left off?
1. Jake Odorizzi left off, Phil Maton and Cristian Javier on
The Astros will roll with 12 pitchers in the ALDS, as most teams have done in the past. With less games on the schedule, less arms are needed, and even with Jake Odorizzi’s recent success, the right-hander is off the roster.
Odorizzi faced the White Sox once this season, where he was hooked after three plus innings of work. The right-hander surrendered four runs on six hits and four walks, while punching out only one in the process. The White Sox are a right-handed heavy lineup, while Odorizzi has given into a .238/.282/.417 slash line against righties this season.
Cristian Javier and Phil Maton likely take the final two bullpen seats for the series. However, Javier is in the 10th percentile in walk rate with a 4.7 walk per nine innings. The right-hander never faced the White Sox in the regular season, but Javier held right-handed hitters to a .155/.249/.338 clip.
Maton wasn’t on the Astros when Houston faced Chicago, but he did come from the American League Central. The right-hander has a 3.18 ERA against the White Sox through 5.2 innings this season with an opposing OPS south of .720.
2. Jose Siri over Marwin Gonzalez
Jose Siri fractured his finger in the final regular season series, but with it healing well, the Astros will carry six outfielders. Marwin Gonzalez could have been the second utility man behind Aledmys Diaz, but with Siri’s speed, the 26-year-old is perfect for a pinch-running option.
Gonzalez struggled at the plate in his return to Houston, as he hit .176/.222/.441 through 34 at-bats.
3. Astros carrying three catchers
With Gonzalez off the roster, the Astros could rely on Garrett Stubbs for numerous roles. Stubbs has the versatility to play second base and left field if needed, but he also provides a late-game replacement if Martin Maldonado or Jason Castros are pinch-hit for.
The Astros will also carry a nine-man taxi squad holding Bryan Abreu, Brandon Bielak, Marwin Gonzalez, Taylor Jones, Jake Odorizzi, Michael Papierski, Jeremy Pena, Peter Solomon and Blake Taylor. Papierski and Pena, first time on taxi squad, are both not on the 40-man roster.