The final Grapefruit League game is scheduled for Monday afternoon, before the Houston Astros set their sights on Anaheim for a four-game set with the Los Angeles Angels, starting Thursday. With more 40-man players optioned and minor leaguers reassigned, the Astros sat 31 players in camp as of Monday morning.
On Sunday, left-handed relievers Zac Rosscup and Adam Morgan were notified that they didn’t pitch enough innings for a full evaluation this spring, leading to their start to the 2022 season in Triple-A Sugar Land.
Righties Seth Martinez and Brandon Bielak, who will join the Space Cowboys’ rotation, were optioned Sunday, piecing together the final seats of the bullpen. Ronel Blanco, not on the 40-man, made the bullpen, requiring a corresponding move for his addition.
With a 28-man roster to open the season, the Astros will be without Jake Meyers, Taylor Jones and Lance McCullers Jr., who are all possible 60-day injured list candidates. Meyers will miss April, while Jones’ and McCullers’ timetables haven’t been reported.
McCullers will join the team in Anaheim, while Meyers stays back and continues to rehab in West Palm Beach, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
What will the Astros 28-man Opening Day roster look like?
Starting Pitchers: Framber Valdez, Jake Odorizzi, Justin Verlander, Jose Urquidy and Luis Garcia
The Astros have a handful of minor-league starters to lean on for depth this season, which the club lacked in 2021 due to a multitude of injuries.
Relievers: Bryan Abreu, Pedro Báez, Ronel Blanco, Cristian Javier, Phil Maton, Rafael Montero, Héctor Neris, Ryan Pressly, Ryne Stanek and Blake Taylor
Montero, who joined camp late, made his first appearance in spring training Sunday. The righty will be ready for the 2022 season, while displaying strong peripherals last year in a small sample size after his acquisition. Báez, Blanco and Abreu are all scheduled to throw Monday.
Catchers: Martin Maldonado and Jason Castro
Without a third catcher on the 40-man, Michael Papierski looks to be the extra line of defense that would be added in response to injury. The switch-hitter was reassigned Saturday to Triple-A, where Korey Lee and Scott Manea are rostered.
Infielders: Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Jeremy Peña, Aledmys Diaz and Niko Goodrum
Franklin Barreto’s chances to make the 40-man roster looked high, following the report of Jones’ back injury. The experienced middle infielder was reassigned to Sugar Land on Saturday, adding depth to already versatile Space Cowboys’ roster.
Outfielders: Yordan Alvarez, Michael Brantley, Chas McCormick, Jose Siri and Kyle Tucker
Lewis Brinson was reassigned to the minors Saturday, leaving the tenured major leaguer in Triple-A to start the season. The right-hander’s ceiling is high, and if he excels in Sugar Land, he offers security to the centerfield position if the McCormick and Siri platoon struggles in lieu of Meyers.