Figuring Out the Houston Astros Opening Night Roster

By Lee White
Houston Astros Rant Sports
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, the Houston Astros signed veteran shortstop Ronny Cedeno. As soon as it was confirmed, the Astros let shortstop Tyler Greene know he wouldn’t be making the team. Greene is out of options and the Astros will be looking to trade him. Earlier today, the Astros optioned outfielder JD Martinez to Triple A. The Astros are making moves, and with just a week until Opening Night, they will need to figure out who will be on their 25 man roster. Today, I will be doing the same thing.

After today’s win against the Miami Marlins,  manager Bo Porter jokingly turned to Jose Altuve and Brett Wallace and said “Congratulations, you have made the team.” So I’m glad that is cleared up. Also, Bud Norris, Lucas Harrell and Phil Humber are the one two three in the starting rotation. With Nate Freiman being claimed by the Oakland Athletics and Martinez being optioned to Triple A, that all but opens up spots for Brandon Laird and Rick Ankiel.

Relief pitcher, Josh Fields, who was a Rule V draft pick looks to have himself a decent chance at making the Opening Night roster. I personally believe he will be making the team. Also, Eric Bedard is looking like he will be the fourth pitcher in the Astros rotation. Personally, I hope that Brad Peacock takes over the fifth starters role, but it looks like it may wind up being Alex White.

So MY starting rotation for the Astros is as follows: Bud Norris, Lucas Harrell, Phil Humber, Eric Bedard and Alex White.

The more Brandon Barnes plays, the better his chances get for making the Opening Night roster. Barnes is the best defensive outfielder the Astros have. But will Barnes make the team over Fernando Martinez? The most possible situation will be to platoon two players in right field. Martinez could probably play the two corner outfield spots, but him and Ankiel are both left handed hitters. Barnes is young, and has shown some pop off of his bat this spring. He is also a right handed hitter. The only problem is, he is more suited for center field. We can’t forget Trevor Crowe, however, I believe it is a lot less likely that he makes the team. Crowe is also a non-roster invitee, so the Astros would have to remove a player from their 40 man roster and their 25 man roster. That just doesn’t seem possible. With the state the Astros are at as an organization it would only make sense not to keep Crowe. If they did keep him, that would likely mean that Barnes wouldn’t make the team. That just doesn’t seem to make sense.

I think the Astros outfield will look like this: Chris Carter in left, Justin Maxwell in center and Fernando Martinez in right with Ankiel and Barnes on the bench as fourth and fifth outfielders.

The Astros infield is all but locked up. Matt Dominguez at third, Ronny Cedeno at shortstop, Jose Altuve at second base, Jason Castro will be the catcher and Brett Wallace at first base. Marwin Gonzalez will be used as a utility infielder, Carlos Corporan will be the backup catcher and Carlos Pena will be the designated hitter.

Those are no question.

The bullpen is where the predictions get tough. I will have to go with Jose Veras as the closer, Hector Ambriz in the pen, Wesley Wright and Xavier Cedeno as well, Rhiner Cruz, Josh Fields and Brad Peacock too.

We’ll have to wait and see who all gets the “call” so to speak, but these are the 25 guys that I think we should see on Opening Night.


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