Predicting the Astros Opening Day Roster: Outfield Edition
Left Field: Yordan Alvarez & Justin Dirden
Yordan Alvarez suffered some setbacks this Spring with his hand injury, but he plans to be ready for Opening Day. If he is, the playoff hero and quite possibly, best hitter in baseball is a lock to make the Opening Day roster.
Though the initial plan was for Alvarez to be the every day outfielder, it's likely he opens the season as the primary DH. Michael Brantley has still been recovering from his shoulder injury and has missed time this Spring away from the team dealing with a personal matter, leaving his status for Opening Day up in the air.
Brantley will be needed come October. It's likely Houston doesn't rush him back, but allows him to settle in, leaving an outfield spot open. Enter Justin Dirden.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I listed Dirden as a player that won't make the Opening Day roster, but will contribute to the big league club in 2023. With Brantley's status still undetermined, the door is open for Dirden to step in.
All Dirden has done in his career is hit, and Spring Training has been no different. He is hitting .333 with a 1.300 OPS, two home runs and a double this Spring. He can also play all three outfield spots, but mostly projects as a corner outfielder. As long as Brantley is out, Dirden has earned a shot with the MLB team based on his performance this Spring.