Everyone knows that politics is involved in sports too. There are so-called business decisions. There are the saving face decisions. There are also the behind the scenes decisions that don’t make sense “in front” of the scenes.
All of that aside, here’s the way the Astros’ roster should line up beginning the 2015 season. After starting with 60 players only a few weeks ago, the Astros are down to 32 players left in camp.
- Catcher: Jason Castro, Hank Conger.
- Infield: Chris Carter, Jose Altuve, Jed Lowrie, Luis Valbuena.
- Outfield:George Springer, Jake Marisnick, Robbie Grossman, Colby Rasmus.
- DH: Evan Gattis.
- Bench: Marwin Gonzalez, Jonathan Villar.
- Rotation: Dallas Keuchel, Scott Feldman, Collin McHugh, Asher Wojciechowski, Roberto Hernandez.
- Bullpen: Luke Gregerson, Pat Neshek, Chad Qualls, Tony Sipp, Josh Fields, Sam Deduno, Joe Thatcher.
- Both Hernandez and Wojo have pitched well enough to make the roster. Unfortunately, Brett Oberholtzer has dealt with a lat strain and has pitched only five innings, though he has thrown a minor league game and some back-field innings. Manager A.J. Hinch said recently he hoped Obie would be ready for the season and he could still make the cut since the team wouldn’t need him for another 10 days or so. Starting him on the DL and giving Hernandez and Wojo at least a start or two would allow Obie some extra time to heal and ramp up. It’s a long season. He is actually scheduled to pitch today. If he’s healthy and starts the season with Houston, the easy decision is Hernandez gets the fifth spot and Wojo starts in Fresno.
- Singleton to AAA. I’ve already supported this in previous posts and comments. Singleton needs time at Fresno to fix his swing, his confidence and perhaps shore up some fielding. The Carter at first and Gattis at DH provide a better defense overall for the team, allowing an outfield of Springer, Marisnick and Rasmus/Grossman to team up.
- Fields may start the season on the DL. In that case, Will Harris becomes the place holder.
- All of this could change with trades or injuries in the next week. As you have seen, teams have been active on both fronts. Alex Presley, Gonzalez and even Hernandez could be trade targets.