The Astros have finalized the 28-man roster they’ll bring to Target Field in today’s Wild Card series opener against the Twins. Here’s how it breaks down:
- Zack Greinke (Game 1 starter)
- Josh James
- Cristian Javier
- Lance McCullers Jr.
- Enoli Paredes
- Ryan Pressly
- Andre Scrubb
- Cy Sneed
- Jose Urquidy
There aren’t many surprises on the roster, but the promotion of outfield prospect Chas McCormick creates the potential that for the first time ever, we could see two teams give a player his MLB debut in the same postseason series. Minnesota has promoted top outfield prospect Alex Kirilloff to their Wild Card roster. Only two players have ever previously made their MLB debuts in the postseason: Mark Kiger for the 2006 Athletics and Adalberto Mondesi with the 2015 Royals.
The injury-plagued Astros are relying on an inexperienced pitching staff after injuries to Justin Verlander, Roberto Osuna, Brad Peacock and Chris Devenski substantially altered the composition of the pitching staff. Somewhat remarkably, the only four pitchers on this roster who appeared on Houston’s ALCS roster a year ago are Zack Greinke, Josh James, Ryan Pressly and Jose Urquidy. The staff includes five rookies: Cristian Javier, Enoli Paredes, Andre Scrubb, Cy Sneed and Blake Taylor. Houston’s lineup is also missing 2019 American League Rookie of the Year Yordan Alvarez, who underwent surgery on both knees earlier this season.
It’s surely not the roster that the Astros envisioned taking to the postseason when the 2020 campaign began, but between breakout lefty Framber Valdez, an impressive sophomore effort from Urquidy and a terrific finish from Lance McCullers Jr., the ’Stros still have formidable options to start Game 2 and, if necessary, Game 3 behind Zack Greinke.