WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- We took a shot at predicting the Astros' 25-man roster a little more than a month ago and are happy to report we've nailed it. Well, truth be told, it wasn't that hard.The Astros came to Spring Training with very few jobs up for grabs,
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- We took a shot at predicting the Astros' 25-man roster a little more than a month ago and are happy to report we've nailed it. Well, truth be told, it wasn't that hard.
The Astros came to Spring Training with very few jobs up for grabs, so the roster was pretty much set. Nothing has happened in camp to change our previous prediction, though the injury to Yuli Gurriel has opened the door for someone to stick with the club longer when the season starts.
Gurriel is the rock-solid starting first baseman, but he will start the year on the disabled list and then serve a five-game suspension. Tyler White, A.J. Reed and J.D. Davis are battling for playing time while Gurriel is out.
So let's revisit out predictions with 17 days remaining until Opening Day:
Catcher (3): Any question that Max Stassi won't make the club has pretty much vanished. The Astros are going to carry three catchers, with Stassi and Evan Gattis backing up Brian McCann.
First base (1): Gurriel will be out until at least mid-April. He underwent surgery to remove the hook of the hamate bone in his left hand early in camp and will start the year on the DL. He'll then have to serve a five-game suspension for the insensitive gesture he made during the World Series. White's versatility and bat will likely give him the nod on Opening Day.
Second base (1):Jose Altuve
Third base (1):Alex Bregman
Shortstop (1):Carlos Correa
Utility (1):Marwin Gonzalez will play all over the diamond more this season.
Outfield (4):Derek Fisher will start in left field, with George Springer in center and Josh Reddick in right. Jake Marisnick is the fourth outfielder.
Rotation (5):Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton have had solid -- and more importantly, healthy -- springs.
Bullpen (8): Ken Giles, Chris Devenski, Will Harris, Joe Smith and Hector Rondon give the Astros experience and versatility. Brad Peacock will be a huge weapon in the bullpen, and Collin McHugh seems destined for the 'pen considering the starters have been healthy. It still appears veteran Tony Sipp will be the lone lefty reliever.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter at @brianmctaggart.