The Astros announced their 26-man World Series roster ahead of tonight’s Game 1 clash with the NL Champion Atlanta Braves. The AL champs made only a single change from their ALCS roster, dropping rookie outfielder Jake Meyers for utilityman (and playoff veteran) Marwin Gonzalez. The Astros’ pitching staff, which again does not include Lance McCullers Jr., is unchanged.
Here’s the full roster breakdown:
- Luis Garcia
- Yimi Garcia
- Kendall Graveman
- Zack Greinke
- Cristian Javier
- Phil Maton
- Jake Odorizzi
- Ryan Pressly
- Ryne Stanek
- Jose Urquidy (Game 2 starter)
Gonzalez’s contributions to Astros teams of yore — including the 2017 World Series winners — make his inclusion noteworthy, but he’s unlikely to offer more than bench depth as the series moves to an NL park for Games 3-5. Though always crucial to his value, his positional versatility is Gonzalez’s calling card at this point; he’s appeared at every position on the diamond but catcher at least once at some point in his ten-year career. Aside from a roughly average year with the Twins in 2019, Gonzalez has done little with the bat since leaving the Astros and posted only a combined .567 OPS across 307 plate appearances with Boston and Houston in 2021.
Meyers, the man he replaces, was solid for the Astros in 2021 in his first taste of big-league action, putting together a .260/.323/.438 line in 163 trips to the plate while also capably manning Minute Maid Park’s spacious center field, but he did not see the field in the ALCS after suffering a shoulder injury in the Game 4 ALDS clincher against the White Sox. Though the Astros had carried him on the ALCS roster to maintain his eligibility for the World Series, hopes he’d be ready to go by now have evidently not borne out. Fellow rookies McCormick and Siri will be tasked with manning center field in his stead.
Though the club’s roster selection proved relatively drama-free, a number of question do loom for manager Dusty Baker. In particular, the club’s pitching plan remains up in the air, with only Valdez and Urquidy announced as starters. While rookie Luis Garcia is likely to get the ball for Game 3 in Atlanta, Baker’s Game 4 plan is anyone’s guess, with Greinke, Odorizzi, and a bullpen game all viable options. It’s also unclear how Baker will handle DH Yordan Alvarez in the games played in Atlanta — and who would be asked to take a seat if Alvarez plays the outfield.