Astros change the names in final spring training shuffles

If you remember your TV Land-lore, this phrase will ring a bell: The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Well, the Astros have certainly changed the names. Who’s being protected may be a different story.

By this time in March, most fans — along with media and other onlookers — probably thought the discussion about rounding out the Astros’ roster would revolve around names like George Springer, Michael Foltynewicz, Jonathan Singleton, Asher Wojciechowski, Chia-Jen Lo or Max Stassi.

Instead, the last round of musical chairs includes Anthony Bass, Raul Valdes, Cesar Izturis, Jesus Guzman and one or two others. All obviously, household names that will likely be in the organization for years to come (sarcasm alert). The final determination will come down to how many pitchers the Astros carry to start the season.

Whoopty doo!

And, that friends, puts spring training into perspective and reiterates Dan Peschong’s boring stamp on the past several weeks.

Bo Porter says many players have already been informed they made the team. Here’s the likely list of those with a guaranteed or near-guaranteed spot:

Still sorting it out:

  • Izturis. He has an opt out on Tuesday and the Astros would like to have him on the roster. If the team carries only 12 pitchers, he’s in. If the team doesn’t keep Jesus Guzman or L.J. Hoes, he’s in.
  • Lucas Harrell. Out of options and he’s been serviceable. Unlike Brett Wallace or J.D. Martinez, Harrell would be picked up immediately if released. My guess: Bullpen or trade.
  • Guzman. Could platoon at 1B with Krauss or be headed to Oklahoma City. Can also play the outfield.
  • Jerome Williams. After Sunday’s performance, he could be an odd man out of the mix. Still, with a $2.1 million guaranteed deal, Williams could end up in the bullpen if not the rotation out of the gate.
  • Dallas Keuchel. Shouldn’t be on the roster bubble, but still up in the air whether he makes the rotation or joins the bullpen. My guess: Rotation.
  • Hoes. With a .188 spring, could he start in Oklahoma City? Since both Krauss and Guzman can play the outfield, it could be an option.
  • Brad Peacock. Like Keuchel, he should be on the roster. Only determination is whether as a reliever or starter. My guess: Rotation.
  • Anthony Bass. One of Luhnow’s boys acquired in off-season trade, consensus is that he’s on the roster.

So, as I said…whoopty doo. You can enjoy the shuffle if you like, but it’s just not the same as wondering if the Astros will keep Foltynewicz instead of Williams or Singleton instead of Guzman of if Springer will hit third or fifth.

Who makes it? Who doesn’t?

5 comments on “Astros change the names in final spring training shuffles

  1. I think you and I were feeling the same thing and expressing it in similar yet different ways. Just not feeling it the way I would if we had a couple real prospects on the cusp of making the team.
    I think they go with the 12 pitchers because they do not have 12 pitchers pitching well much less 13.
    I think Izturis Guzman and Hoes make it.
    Harrell Peacock and Keuchel fill out the rest of the rotation at least for awhile.
    Williams and Bass are in the pen for awhile.
    And I don’t really care if I’m right or wrong. Bored and unexcited.


  2. Dan, I think your last sentence is the tell-tale. Unfortunately.

    With 28 games in 30 days, I think your argument can be used to carry 13 pitchers. “…they do not have 12 pitchers pitching well much less 13”. In that case, they may need to carry 13 or create a merry-go-round between OKC and Houston.

    Feeling more and more likely that Harrell makes the rotation. If he’s not traded before April 1, Luhnow will seek to build up his stock for an in-season trade. No way, IMO, is Harrell still in Houston in September.


  3. I agree on Harrell – if he makes the team he is trade object #1.
    Heck I’m all for a Hou / OKC rotation if we can get some young blood up.


  4. Jim Crane said that he thinks the Astros are much improved, won’t lose 100 games and might even make it to .500 this year. I have spent the last 52 years following the Astros. It is amazing to me that, in the fourth year of a rebuild, this is the team that Crane and the Astros have to put on the floor of a beautiful park like MMP. It reminds me of the Astros in their second year in Colt stadium. Man, that was a hard team to listen to on the radio. Reading what Crane had to say about this team was so depressing coming from a guy who owns a baseball team. Crane is as much of a baseball mind as Drayton McLane.
    The weird thing about all of this is that there are a number of players on this team that I really like. I guess that’s why I still follow the team.


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