It's another one of those Spring Training cliches: "If the season started today..."
Well, it doesn't. But it doesn't mean we can't read it, because what else are we going to talk about? Mid-American Conference Basketball? No! Here's McTaggart's Opening Day roster predictions:
Though there's this qualifier: I still think the Astros will look for a veteran catcher before opening day. Who's out there? Benito Santiago?!
INF1: Jason Smith
Chris Johnson could make the team, but I don't see him making it as a reserve. So if he makes it as starter, that means Boone and/or Blum would be gone. Unless they're traded, I don't see that. Expect Johnson and Drew Sutton to start year in Round Rock.
OF5: Jason (The Line Drive of Love) Michaels
Does anyone pick up on the Brett Michaels/Rock of Love (or whatever it's called) reference? This is pretty much set in stone if they're all healthy. Reggie Abercrombie has had a nice spring, but he's starting the year in the minors.
SP5: Russ Ortiz
I've bumped out Brandon Backe because I see him losing significant ground with his intercostal injury. Ortiz has pitched well, and I can see him getting that spot. Jose Capellan could make a push, but he's more of a bullpen arm in my eyes. Felipe Paulino and Fernando Nieve have been pummeled this spring.
I think the pitcher most likely to crack this bunch is lefthander Gilbert De La Vara, a Rule 5 pick who pitched well Wednesday. Could De La Vara steal a lefthanded relief spot over Byrdak?