The Houston Astros should tweak their playoff roster slightly for the ALCS
Now that the Houston Astros know who they’ll be facing in the ALCS, they can focus their sights on that foe — the New York Yankees.
The Astros used 12 pitchers and 14 position players in the ALDS, and I don’t see that changing for this round, unless they decide they need to add a pitcher. The Astros ALCS roster changes I would make would address one problem but could be tough decisions for Dusty Baker.
That pitcher change to the Astros ALCS roster could be Will Smith, the Braves’ hero from last postseason, who would come in to face the few lefties or switch hitters in the Yankees lineup.
The Astros acquired him at the trade deadline but left him off the ALDS roster.
Smith has given up three earned runs in his career in the playoffs over 18-1/3 innings, resulting in a 1.47 ERA and most recently giving up no runs in last years run to the title. He also has a career 1.60 ERA versus the Yankees.
Smith would take the roster spot of Mauricio Dubon who played only a few innings and has logged no at bats or Jake Meyers, if Baker wants versatility.
J.J. Matijevic may not have had the best start to his career this season but he has the power to push the Astros forward in the playoffs. Matijevic hit two home runs in his time with the Astros and one in 35 at bats in Houston and one in five at bats at Yankee stadium.
Matijevic’s solo home run came against Gerrit Cole and was the only run he gave up that start which went seven innings. Matijevic would replace David Hensley on the Astros ALCS roster who was 0-1 with a walk in his two appearances in the ALDS.
Dusty Baker may very well make no changes at all on the Astros ALCS roster and they wouldn’t have much reason to change things. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but based off based off the 18 inning marathon offensive struggle, I would love to see a little more offensive options available to face the powerful Yankees.