Spring training is right around the corner, and we will soon see who the Houston Astros are going to roll into the 2024 season with. By in large, there are not going to be a ton of real competitions for active big league roster spots with the last spot in the rotation, a couple spots in the bullpen, and outfield being unsettled. However, spring training is also a chance for the Astros to get a look at all of the guys on the 40-man roster and see if they are worth keeping around.
There are a lot of considerations that go into 40-man roster moves. One is sheer space, and while the Astros' 40-man roster is full at the moment, they do have a few guys (Luis Garcia, Kendall Graveman, and Lance McCullers Jr.) who will start the season on the long-term injured list, which will temporarily make some room until they return. Another consideration is whether or not a player is among the immediate promotion plans, as well as whether a guy has a good chance of clearing waivers if taken off the 40-man. That is where things get sticky.
Right now, there isn't a pressing need for the Astros to make any 40-man roster moves. However, there is still a bit of offseason left before the start of spring training, and if any free agents tickle Dana Brown's fancy or if players that get cut in spring training get added, Houston is going to probably have to start making some tough choices. Here is a look at the guys on the Astros' 40-man roster that could get axed if that comes to pass.
5 players who could get knocked off Astros' 40-man roster this spring
It wasn't that long ago that David Hensley was considered a breakout prospect candidate for the Astros. It took Hensley a while to get going in the minor leagues, but back to back seasons with an .800+ OPS in 2021 and 2022 got many excited that he could contribute in the bigs.
Unfortunately, 2023 was not kind to Hensley after his promising 2022 big league debut. In 94 plate appearances last season, he slashed just .119/.213/.167, and while his numbers at Triple-A were better, it wasn't by as much as one would hope. Hensley does have quality defensive versatility going for him. However, with the trade to add Trey Cabbage as well as Mauricio Dubon still being around, Hensley just doesn't have much of a future with the Astros from the looks of things.