Opening Day: Comparing the 2015/2016 rosters


The Astros have confirmed the last of their 2016 opening day roster as Michael Feliz beat out James Hoyt for the long reliever spot in the bullpen.

While the 2016 roster may morph a bit when Evan Gattis, Lance McCullers Jr and Max Stassi recover from injuries, it is still an interesting exercise to compare the two opening day rosters.

POSITION 2015 2016
1B CHRIS CARTER TYLER WHITE
2B JOSE ALTUVE JOSE ALTUVE
SS JED LOWRIE CARLOS CORREA
3B LUIS VALBUENA LUIS VALBUENA
C JASON CASTRO JASON CASTRO
DH EVAN GATTIS PRESTON TUCKER
LF COLBY RASMUS COLBY RASMUS
CF JAKE MARISNICK CARLOS GOMEZ
RF GEORGE SPRINGER GEORGE SPRINGER
BENCH HANK CONGER ERIK KRATZ
BENCH ROBBIE GROSSMAN JAKE MARISNICK
BENCH JONATHAN VILLAR MATT DUFFY
BENCH MARWIN GONZALEZ MARWIN GONZALEZ
SP DALLAS KEUCHEL DALLAS KECUHEL
SP COLLIN MCHUGH COLLIN MCHUGH
SP SCOTT FELDMAN SCOTT FELDMAN
SP ROBERTO HERNANDEZ MIKE FIERS
SP ASHER WOJCIECHOWSKI DOUG FISTER
RP LUKE GREGERSON LUKE GREGERSON
RP TONY SIPP TONY SIPP
RP PAT NESHEK PAT NESHEK
RP WILL HARRIS WILL HARRIS
RP JOE THATCHER KEN GILES
RP CHAD QUALLS JOSH FIELDS
RP SAM DEDUNO MICHAEL FELIX

The Infield plus Catcher

It is hard to picture a scenario where Tyler White would not be an improvement over Chris Carter / Jon Singleton at 1B based on the solid hitter White appears to be. Jed Lowrie was a decent SS, while Carlos Correa is a transcendent one. Jose Altuve is one of the best 2B in the game and a repeat of 2014 would be an improvement, but a repeat of 2015 is still great. Luis Valbuena and Jason Castro had good defensive and poor offensive seasons in 2015. They will be both playing for new contracts in 2016.

Advantage – 2016

The Bench and DH

Whoever takes Hank Conger‘s place long-term as backup C will be a better defensive catcher, while probably lacking his pop (from the left side of the plate) and dance moves. Preston Tucker will likely be the main DH against right-handed pitchers with a variety of folks filling in against lefties, including starters. He should be as good or better than Gattis at this. Marwin Gonzalez continues to be a valuable and versatile player, Duffy gives them more power than they had on the bench before and with Jake Marisnick in and Grossman and Villar out, this is a superior defensive bench.

Advantage – 2016

Starting Pitching

The key here is the 3, 4 and 5 spots in the rotation. Feldman was the third guy last season. This season when Lance McCullers returns in about a month, Feldman could be anywhere from 4, 5, long relief or traded. Last season Wojo and Roberto Hernandez were unsatisfactory stop gaps, while this season, Feldman, Fiers and Fister should give them better production in the tail end of the rotation. If anyone falters, Feliz or Joe Musgrove among others could step up in a heartbeat.

Advantage – 2016

Bullpen

Giles, Fields and Feliz in place of Qualls, Thatcher and Deduno. This is a better and harder throwing bullpen.

Advantage – 2016

It is the old trap – “On paper this looks like a better team across the board.”

What do you like and dislike about this team vs. last season?

What happens when the injured return? What should happen?

Where are you concerned?

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102 comments on “Opening Day: Comparing the 2015/2016 rosters

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