Astros announce Opening Day roster

April 7th, 2022

ANAHEIM – The Astros set their Opening Day roster prior to Thursday’s game against the Angels and will carry 15 pitchers and 13 position players to start the season. Teams can carry 28 players through May 1, with rosters reduced to 26 players beginning May 2.

 The Astros have three players appearing on Opening Day rosters for the first time in their careers: right-hander Ronel Blanco, shortstop Jeremy Peña and outfielder Jose Siri. Of those, Blanco and Peña are awaiting their Major League debuts.

The 2022 season will mark the 11th time on an Opening Day roster for second baseman Jose Altuve, trailing only Craig Biggio (19) and Jeff Bagwell (15) for most in club history.

Catcher (2): Martín Maldonado, Jason Castro
The Astros have one of the most veteran catching combinations in the game with Maldonado and Castro, who have combined to catch 1,807 games in their careers. Maldonado, a right-hander and Gold Glove finalist last year, has gotten a lion’s share of the playing time the past two years, though Castro, a left-handed bat, provides more offense. He has said that 2022 could be the final year of what's been an 11-year Major League career thus far.

First base (1): Yuli Gurriel
Gurriel found the fountain of youth last year at 37 years old, winning his first career AL batting title by hitting .319. His stellar defense at first base also earned him his first career Gold Glove. He showed up to camp 15 pounds lighter and put together a terrific spring at the plate.

Second base (1): Jose Altuve
One of the most accomplished players of this generation, the 31-year-old Altuve played in 146 games last year -- the most since his MVP season of 2017 -- and tied a career high with 31 homers. A three-time batting champ, he hit .278 last year after a rough .219 clip in the shortened 2020 season.

Third base (1): Alex Bregman
After finishing a close second to Mike Trout in the AL MVP race in 2019, Bregman has battled health problems the past two years, including a quad injury that cost him 59 games last year and a hand injury that required offseason surgery. A healthy Bregman remains one of the best players in the AL.

Shortstop (1): Jeremy Peña
With Correa headed to the Twins, Peña is taking over as the starting shortstop. The Astros’ No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, Peña injured his left wrist diving for a grounder in Spring Training last year and had surgery that cost him much of the season. He returned to set a career high with 10 homers while hitting .287 in just 30 Triple-A games.

Utility (2): Aledmys Díaz, Niko Goodrum
Díaz, who’s in the last year of his contract, can play all over the infield, as well as left field and is a steady hand. Goodrum, who signed with the club on March 15, has some versatility, as well, and can play shortstop and outfield.

Outfielders (4): Michael Brantley, Chas McCormick, Kyle Tucker, Jose Siri
Jake Meyers took over as the primary starting center fielder last year and tore the labrum in his left shoulder in the AL Division Series. He had surgery that will keep him out until at least May, so McCormick and Siri figure to split time in center until Meyers is healthy.

Designated hitter (1): Yordan Alvarez
Alvarez is an elite designated hitter who has put his knee problems behind him. He started 39 games in left field last year, but with the designated hitter now in both leagues, the Astros won’t have to worry about taking his bat out of the lineup when they play in National League parks.

Starting pitchers (5): Justin Verlander, Jake Odorizzi, Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia, José Urquidy
With Lance McCullers Jr. headed to the injured list to start the season with a flexor tendon injury, the return of Verlander on a one-year deal was critical. Odorizzi is looking for stability following last year’s disjointed regular season. Valdez, a lefty, and Garcia, who finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting last year, round out the rotation with Urquidy, who was on the IL last year twice with a shoulder injury. The rotation will start the season in this order: Valdez, Odorizzi, Verlander, Urquidy and Garcia.

Relief pitchers (10): Ryan Pressly, Ryne Stanek, Pedro Báez, Phil Maton, Héctor Neris, Rafael Montero, Cristian Javier, Blake Taylor, Bryan Abreu, Ronel Blanco
The Astros will use the two extra roster spots in April to carry 10 relief pitchers, though just one (Taylor) is a lefty. The extra spots allowed the Astros to carry the hard-throwing Blanco and Abreu, who’s on his second consecutive Opening Day roster. Pressly is an elite closer, while newcomer Neris is the favorite to be the setup man. Stanek and Maton are veterans who got some big outs last year, but Báez was hurt most of 2021 and his velocity was down again this spring. Javier will provide long relief.