Astros: 4 ALDS Roster Snubs

(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /

What possible different choices could the Houston Astros make when putting together the postseason roster? I think there really is just one roster spot up for debate.

Examining other managers rosters you will find many similarities: five infielders, five outfielders, a DH, but it’s where teams value that 12th roster spot that differs.

When looking at the White Sox roster, they have an extra infielder/hitter with their spot and the Red Sox and Rays both used their extra spot for another arm in the pen. The Astros are the only AL team with three catchers on the roster, and while some might claim flexibility with pinch hitting, the Brewers are the only other team carrying three catchers.

Additionally, Garrett Stubbs saw one appearance in last years playoffs and similarly Jason Castro had one at bat.

Should Stubbs have made the roster or just the taxi squad in case of injury and should the Astros have added an additional hitter or pitcher, and who would they add?

Most AL teams have added an extra arm to the pen since they already have a DH for the pitcher and will likely need less pinch hitters or runners off the bench than an NL team.

Blake Taylor

Blake Taylor would be the go to added arm most likely if the Astros wanted more options from the pen. He is a lefty and with a heavy right handed hitting lineup and the three batter rule it might not make sense to have him on the roster.

Taylor pitched particularly well since September 1st posting a 2.08 ERA, a 2-0 record with a save, and opponents hit .214 against him in the 12 games he entered. He would be a great fit for an end of inning appearance to get the last out against a lefty.

Jake Odorizzi

Jake Odorizzi is the only other true fit for a roster spot, yet with his erratic appearances the consistency wasn’t there to trust him to make a bigger contribution in the playoffs, despite his 4.21 ERA and mostly consistent September.

Odorizzi would be a key player out of the pen for a long relief appearance, where he could eat up three innings or more if a starter struggles, but since the Astros have Greinke and Javier in the pen for long relief, a 3rd long reliever might be a waste.

Adding an extra bat to pinch hit or run in key situations might have been the most logical option for the Astros in the ALDS if situations arise where pinch hitters or runners might be a good option. The Astros so far this ALDS have not had much opportunity for that, with just a pinch running opportunity needed.

Marwin Gonzalez

Marwin Gonzalez is the most likely option to added to the roster. His versatility and clutch hitting in late innings would certainly give the Astros plenty of options, even with his struggles at the plate this year, but the Astros seem to think Diaz will be enough to fill any need in the infield as the lone backup, despite his playoff struggles last year.

Gonzalez hit .176 in 14 games with the Astros which likely put him on the taxi squad, with his three home runs and eight RBIs and .239 average versus finesse pitchers being his only hope to remain on the squad.

Taylor Jones

Taylor Jones would be the only other hitting option for the Astros off the bench. Jones hit .245 with two home runs and 16 RBIs in 35 games during his short stint with the team this fall. Jones .402 slugging percentage and 29 strikeouts in 108 plate appearances probably kept him off the roster.

Who was snubbed from the Astros roster for the ALDS? I am a firm believer in having more bats at your disposal for pinch hitting and matchup specific options.

Jason Castro is the only lefty on the bench and he is the backup catcher so you wouldn’t necessarily pinch hit him, however he has been clutch pinch hitting in late September.

I think Marwin is the logical choice off the taxi squad to replace Stubbs, so you have a lefty bat off the bench. Taylor is a great option out of the pen for matchups if your philosophy is the more arms the better.

Next. Kendall Graveman has lost his control. dark

Overall, there hasn’t been much pinch hitting and the pen has been used a significant amount so there’s good arguments to be made for Taylor. Either way you look at it one thing is for sure, the Astros have been playing great this series.