The Astros announced their 26-man roster for the ALDS today. For the most part, the roster was to be expected, but there was one surprising omission.
Kendall Graveman, one of their two big acquisitions at the trade deadline, was left off the roster with right shoulder discomfort. Losing Graveman is undoubtedly a hit to the Astros bullpen.
He’s a proven leverage arm, and recorded a 1.64 playoff ERA across nine games in 2021, the only year of his career in which he has made the playoffs.
Kendall Graveman left off Astros' playoff roster
The loss of Graveman meant Houston didn’t have to decide between rookie starters Hunter Brown and J.P. France; both made the roster. France has never appeared in a playoff game. Brown made 3 appearances last year across the ALDS and ALCS, but didn’t appear in the World Series.
With Graveman down, the Astros decided to carry 12 position players and 14 pitchers.
For position players, the only debate coming in surrounded how many Astros the catchers would carry. If they were going to carry three, they'd have to decide between Jon Singleton and Grae Kessinger.
Carrying a third catcher, say a César Salazar, would mean Houston would be more inclined to pinch hit Yainer Diaz for Martín Maldonado, but with only two, that will limit their ability to get Diaz in the game.
Singleton and Kessinger both made the roster, though something has likely gone very array if either are called on to produce in the ALDS.
Singleton gives Dusty Baker a left-handed bat off the bench, though he has reverse splits and struggles mightily against right-handed pitching.
The Twins starting pitching is great, and they do have some young talent to pair with veterans like Carlos Correa, but an Astros lineup consisting of Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Chas McCormick, Michael Brantley/Yainer Diaz, Jeremy Peña and Martín Maldonado should have little to no issues advancing.