Get ready Astros fans, as we have the latest scoop on what’s happening in the team’s camp! With the season fast approaching, the Astros are still trying to sort out their roster composition, and we’ve got four observations about their camp that you won’t want to miss. From injuries to standout prospects, we’ve got all the details for you right here.
First things first, let’s talk about the competition for the Astros’ backup catcher role. The big question on everyone’s mind was who would be the backup to veteran Martín Maldonado. Well, it turns out that both Korey Lee and Yainer Diaz will get their shot at some point. While one will likely begin in Triple-A, the other will be on the Major League roster as a backup. But don’t rule out both making the roster on Opening Day, especially with Michael Brantley likely on the injured list. Lee is the better defender while Diaz can benefit from more time learning from Maldonado. Keep an eye on both of them as they could take turns on the roster based on workload and injuries.
Moving on to player updates, let’s take a look at Justin Dirden, who’s making a push to make the big league club. With Brantley likely headed to the injured list, the Astros will need a fourth outfielder, and Dirden could be their guy. He’s been terrific this spring at the plate and can play all three outfield positions while running really well. However, with only 128 at-bats in Triple-A and not on the 40-man roster, his development may be better served with a couple of months in Sugar Land. Another player to watch out for is C.J. Stubbs, an athletic 6-foot-3, 207-pound catcher who has played some first base as well.
As for the starting pitching depth, remember how the Astros benefited from their starting pitching excess in last year’s playoffs? The team has five starters now, but with Verlander having moved on and McCullers injured, starting pitching depth could be a concern. It’s important to keep an eye on Brandon Bielak, Bryan Garcia, and prospects Shawn Dubin and Forrest Whitley, who were optioned from the camp on Sunday.
Finally, let’s talk about Astros manager Dusty Baker’s ongoing desire for a left-handed relief pitcher. Having brought in four to the camp, Blake Taylor and Parker Mushinski are out with injuries, leaving Matt Gage and Austin Davis as healthy options. It’s too early to tell, but Davis and Gage both may have another four or so outings before camp breaks. So, keep an eye on them.
That’s all for this time, Astros fans! Keep following us for further updates about the team’s progress. It’s clear that the Astros are still figuring out their roster, and with two weeks remaining in Florida, there’s still plenty to be decided. Stay tuned and watch this space!