Houston Astros: A projection of the 2019 ALDS roster against Rays

Houston Astros Manager A.J. Hinch (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Houston Astros Manager A.J. Hinch (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros will take on the Tampa Bay Rays int he ALDS so it’s time figure who will make the roster. Let’s examine the most successful combination.

Houston Astros fans — we will finally know who our beloved team will be facing the ALDS round and it’s going to be the Tampa Bay Rays after an impressive 5-1 win over the Oakland Athletics last night.

It didn’t necessarily have the pizazz of the NL Wild Card Game where 20-year-old outfielder Juan Soto heroically was able to will his team into the NLCS with a date against the Los Angeles Dodgers this Friday as well.

Charlie Morton is still throwing great stuff out on the mound right now and it befuddles me as to why the Houston Astros decided to let him go.  I’m sure the Houston Astros hindsight is 20/20 about that notion as the two-year, $30 million deal he signed in free agency seems like quite a bargain, considering the issues this team has had keeping the bottom-end of the rotation healthy.

The Houston Astros may have not had the urgency to trade for as much starting pitching as it did if Morton were in a Houston Astros‘ uniform.  I think they still would’ve been hungry for a starter — who knows if Zack Greinke would’ve been here — but it’s likely that they would’ve not had to grab Aaron Sanchez, who is out with season-ending shoulder surgery.

But it’s all about what’s in front of the Houston Astros right now and they’ve got a lot on their plate with the Tampa Bay Rays being their ALDS opponent.  It will be an exciting series and I think the Rays will pose as extremely formidable competition with such a young lineup at bay.

I’m going to step into AJ Hinch‘s shoes for a few moments and project the guys that I think will be on the 25-man ALDS roster.  Who should make the cut?

Here’s how it should go down:

Positional Players:

1B Yuli Gurriel
2B Jose Altuve
3B Alex Bregman
SS Carlos Correa
C Robinson Chirinos
LF Michael Brantley
CF George Springer
RF Josh Reddick
DH Yordan Alvarez
UT Aledmys Diaz
OF Jake Marisnick
C Martin Maldonado
IF Myles Straw
OF Kyle Tucker

Starting Pitchers:

Justin Verlander
Gerrit Cole
Zack Greinke
Jose Urquidy


Roberto Osuna
Will Harris
Ryan Pressly
Joe Smith
Wade Miley
Bryan Abreu
Josh James

As you can see, it’s quite easy to put the stars in the lineup but once you get to the bottom-end of filling out the roster, that’s when things get tricky.

Although Abraham Toro and Jack Mayfield have contributed tremendously to the Houston Astros, especially when they were in an injury-crunch, I’d leave them off this roster as it’s just important to have your best guys in the lineup.

Tucker has finally arrived, closing out the season hitting .269 with 11 homers and a .857 OPS in his second yet successful campaign in the majors.  The Houston Astros have a ton of confidence in Tucker’s abilities and he should be on this roster as such.

I truly like Straw’s defensive abilities in the infield, his intuitiveness at the plate and the best of all — his strong baserunning.  For that reason, he should be on this roster, just like last season.  Of course, you’d want to carry at least two catchers to give each other a break and although I like Stubbs, Robby and Machete are battle-tested in the postseason.

As for the pitching staff, I’m tapping Urquidy as the fourth starter just in case he’s needed.  He earned a playoff spot after pitching six scoreless innings along with two punch-outs and a walk back last Friday against the Los Angeles Angels.  He’ll be a valuable weapon if he needs to start but if it looks like the team is going to sweep the Rays — highly unlikely — he’d still be useful out of their bullpen.

Although Miley was impressive for the majority of the season, he waited until September to

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completely fall off the face of the earth.  He has sported a 16.68 ERA for the last month of the regular season and it’s clear that his arm just can’t turn out the quality pitches that he’s had through the season.  But since he’s a lefty, I’m betting that he can be effective in small stretches out of the bullpen.  I’m hoping that’s the case for Miley who will likely be used in situational pitching changes.

James has had his fair share of injuries that he has been dealing with this season but with Brad Peacock not being quite right as of late, I think we wouldn’t necessarily need him this series.  I think James can capably handle a bullpen spot just fine.  This will give the Astros an opportunity to evaluate Peacock some more and decide if he should be on the ALCS roster, should they advance.

You know what? Abreu has something and I’d like to find out more.  The rookie, who signed with the franchise as an amateur free agent back in 2013, looked terrific in his September call-up while sporting a 1.17 ERA,13 strikeouts, one earned run and a 0.91 WHIP through 7.2 innings pitched for last month.  He’s made his case and I’m putting him on this damn roster NOW.

Next. Astros: Gerrit Cole should be the AL Cy Young Winner. dark

So that’s where I stand with the ALDS roster, how do you feel?

I can’t wait for tomorrow — let’s go Houston Astros!