The Houston Astros announced their roster for the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, which begins tonight in Houston. Two changes were made from the ALDS…
Wade Miley and Myles Straw are the two casualties from the NLDS group. Miley would have been a candidate to start game four, but momentum has moved increasingly to Jose Urquidy to get the nod for that game. Straw appeared in games 1 and 2 of the ALDS as a pinch-runner, but he is a numbers casualty here as the Astros decided to carry a 12th pitcher.
Right-handers Bryan Abreu and Brad Peacock join the group. Peacock can serve as a long man out of the pen, or he could be a candidate to start the fourth game of the series. Abreu is an especially interesting add, as the 22-year-old has just 7 big league appearances under his belt. A high-spin-rate curveball is his trademark pitch, and though he was a starter in High-A and Double-A for most of the season, his 6 September appearances were enough to prove his postseason utility to the Houston brass. He struck out 13 batters in 8 2/3 big league innings, giving up just 4 hits.
Here’s the complete 25-man unit:
- Bryan Abreu
- Gerrit Cole
- Zack Greinke (probably game 1 starter)
- Will Harris
- Josh James
- Roberto Osuna
- Brad Peacock
- Ryan Pressly
- Hector Rondon
- Joe Smith
- Jose Urquidy
- Justin Verlander (probable game 2 starter)
Miley’s absence is the most notable for a couple of reasons. He provided steady production for most of the season, finishing 14-6 with a 3.98 ERA/4.51 FIP across 33 starts and 167 1/3 innings. He also saw postseason success for last season’s Brewers when he carried a 1.23 ERA over 14 2/3 postseason innings. He appeared in game three of this year’s ALDS, surrendering 4 hits and 2 earned runs across 2 2/3 innings in relief of Zack Greinke. Miley is a free agent at the end of the season after signing a one-year, $4.5MM deal with Houston this offseason. Being left off the ALCS roster is not likely to affect the market for his services this winter.
Without Miley, the Astros aren’t carrying a single left-handed pitcher on the roster. The Yankees are flush with right-handed power hitters, so it’s not necessarily a glaring need, but it’s still worth noting. Of course, the Astros have gone without a lefty in their pen for stretches of the season, and it’s a cosmetic issue nonetheless. Pressly, Harris, James, Osuna, and Urquidy have all fared as well or better against lefties this season as against righties, despite the unseemliness of throwing with their right hand.