#6/Spot Starter: Ronel Blanco
Ronel Blanco being listed as a member of the Astros Opening Day rotation would have been laughed off the earth three months ago. Honestly, it still may be too far-fetched of an idea.
But between the perfect storm of Lance McCullers Jr. suffering from another injury, GM Dana Brown desiring to see Blanco stretched out, Blanco’s dominant performance in the Dominican Winter League, and most of all, his performance in Spring Training as both a starter and reliever, don’t be surprised if Blanco makes the Opening Day roster as the swing-arm, Swiss Army Knife role that Baker deployed Cristian Javier in for 2021 and the first half of 2022.
Blanco did make the Opening Day roster last year, but only threw 6.1 innings across seven games.
As the Astros look to replace the innings Justin Verlander provided them while keeping the workload from piling up on their young arms, a six-man rotation isn’t out of the realm of possibility. It appeared to be when LMJ went down, but Blanco is proving himself this Spring.
It may not carry over to the regular season, but Blanco is more than deserving of the chance to break camp with the big league club.