Astros set Opening Day roster for 2024

March 28th, 2024

HOUSTON -- Strong showings in Spring Training by right-hander Tayler Scott and left-hander Parker Mushinski -- and an injury to lefty Bennett Sousa -- paved the way for them to make the Astros’ Opening Day roster, which was announced Thursday. The club is carrying 25 players for the first two games with reliever Bryan Abreu suspended.

Grae Kessinger, who battled a hamstring strain late in camp, captured his first Opening Day roster selection, joining Mauricio Dubón, Jon Singleton and Victor Caratini on the Houston bench. That means outfielder Corey Julks begins the season in Triple-A.

Scott, Mushinski and Seth Martinez won the final three spots in Houston’s bullpen, joining Josh Hader, Ryan Pressly, Rafael Montero and long reliever Brandon Bielak. Abreu will be activated prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees.

“After Tuesday night, we sat down and tried to come up with the best roster possible to start the season,” Astros manager Joe Espada said. “We came up with guys we felt like put us in a really good position right now to give us a chance to win. Some injuries made our decisions a little bit easier to put it together there at the end, but at the end of the day we feel really good about the guys we have.”

Catcher (2): ,
Diaz finally gets his chance to take over as the team’s starting catcher with the veteran Caratini as his backup.

First baseman (1):
Abreu battled a sore knee in the spring but is healthy heading into his second season in Houston.

Second baseman (1):
Altuve signed a five-year, $125 million contract extension prior to Spring Training and is making his 12th career Opening Day start -- trailing only Craig Biggio for the most in club history (14).

Shortstop (1):
Peña came to camp with a new batting stance and had some promising swings in the final days of spring.

Third baseman (1):
Bregman hit the ball well this spring, including a two-homer game Saturday, and is poised for a big season in his walk year ahead of free agency.

Outfielders (3): , ,
McCormick will split time in left field with designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, opening room for Meyers to show what he can do in center. On days Alvarez plays left, McCormick can easily slide to center. Tucker remains one of the best right fielders in the game.

Designated hitter (1):
Alvarez is healthy entering the season and should be poised to be an MVP candidate.

Bench/utility (3): , ,
Dubón, a Gold Glove winner last year at the utility spot, is a versatile player who can play second base, shortstop, first base, third base, left field and right field. Singleton and Kessinger made their first Opening Day rosters.

Starting pitchers (5): , , , ,
With Justin Verlander (still building up from shoulder issue) and José Urquidy (elbow) on the IL to start the season, France and Blanco slid into the final two slots in the rotation to start the year. The order in which those two will pitch hasn’t been decided.

Relief pitchers (7): , , , , , ,
Abreu, one of Houston’s best relievers, will miss the first two games because of a suspension handed down in last year’s ALDS, so the Astros will be down a pitcher to start the year. Bielak, and even Martinez, can offer some long relief options. Mushinski joins Hader as one of Houston’s two lefties, and Scott’s 2.45 spring ERA earned him a spot.