Tuesday, March 24, 2009

32 players fighting for 25 spots...this isn't going to end well

By my count - which could be off - there are 32 players on the roster right now who have a shot at making the OD09 roster. That means it has to be trimmed by seven.

Let's take a look at how this could shake out.

Rotation: 6
Roy, Wandy, Hampton, Moehler, Ortiz, Capellan

Bullpen: 10
Arias, Brocail, Byrdak, de la Vara, Fulchino, Geary, Hawkins, Sampson, Valverde, Wright

Catchers: 3
Pudge, Quintero, Towles

Infielders: 7
Berkman, Blum, Johnson, Matsui, Maysonet, Smith, Tejada

Outfielders: 6
Abercrombie, Bourn, Erstad, Lee, Michaels, Pence

We can trim one from the rotation automatically. I think Ortiz is SP5 due to the nature of his opt-out clause and the fact that Capellan could be signed and sent to Round Rock. Cut? Capellan

Coop took eight for the bullpen on OD08, meaning we can project taking two off of this list. de la Vara is a Rule 5 pick with an 0-2 record and an 8.38 ERA, giving up five homers in 9.2 innings. So it comes down to Arias and Fulchino. Both have been impressive. Fulchino is 0-1 with a 2.19 ERA and a WHIP under 1.00. Arias has been perfect, 0-0 with an 0.00 ERA and nine baserunners (7H, 2BB) in 8.1 innings. It's hard to say, but given that Fulchino has been given more innings and opportunities, it seems like Coop is leaning towards letting him lose a job. But he's done very well. It's a toss-up, but I'll give the nod towards Fulchino making the team with Arias and de la Vara out. And I could be totally wrong.

Update: Within this piece JJO says it's unlikely Arias will break camp with the Astros.

I'm also going to say Towles heads to Round Rock, in what seems to be kind of a no-brainer, for now.

We're going to have to cut two, maybe three from the infield as the outfield seems set with five and Abercrombie is the odd man out. Coop has talked about the backup needing to be able to play short, and Alyson Footer, surprisingly mentions Chris Johnson starting the season in Round Rock. So she's closer to the situation than I am - I don't like the idea, but we'll trim Johnson from the list. Between Maysonet and Smith, it's a toss-up. Up until Maysonet's two homer day, he showed no stick, and Smith hasn't shown much of a glove. It could go either way, but I'll say that since Smith signed a minor-league contract back at the beginning of January, Maysonet will get the nod - at least initially.

To recap, here are the projected seven trimmed from the roster (as of March 23): Capellan, de la Vara, Fulchino, Towles, Abercrombie, Johnson, Smith. But who knows?