HOUSTON – Manager A.J. Hinch announced the Astros 25-man ALDS roster on Thursday, one day before the team begins their best-of-5 series against the Indians. There were several surprises both on the roster and off, including relievers Hector Rondon and Brad Peacock who were both left of the roster.
Rookie Josh James, who has only six career major league appearances, earned a spot on the roster, as did Myles Straw who made his major league debut in mid-September and has only nine career at-bats.
James brings extreme heat with his fastball topping out at just over 100 mph and he posted a 2.35 ERA in 23 innings with 29 strikeouts.
Straw is probably the fastest player in the Astros organization, definitely the fastest on the playoff roster.
"We've had some pretty grueling meetings getting through the roster, which is a good problem to have as a team. It's a tough problem to have for the players," Hinch said.
"We've set our roster up, had the conversations we need to have, and I think the biggest surprise or the biggest dilemma or the curiosity around our bullpen is what is front and center for us. Our bullpen will consist of (Roberto) Osuna, (Lance) McCullers, (Ryan) Pressly, Tony Sipp, Collin McHugh, Will Harris, and Josh James. That leaves off some very notable relievers for us. Some have World Series saves. Hector Rondon has saves for us this season. As you can see, it was a tough bullpen to crack."
Rondon was the biggest surprise after he spent much of the season as the Astros closer, but he had not pitched well down the stretch.
With Hector, he had a tough month. September really his only bad month," Hinch said.
"He wasn't great in the second half as a whole, but most of that is weighted into September. Honestly, this is a very difficult offense to match up with, and some of the things that he does and some of his execution that he does didn't match up very well with very many areas of the lineup with the Indians."
Here's the 25-man ALDS roster :
Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton, Roberto Osuna, Ryan Pressly, Lance McCullers, Jr., Collin McHugh, Josh James, Will Harris, Tony Sipp
Jose Altuve, Marwin Gonzalez, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel
George Springer, Josh Reddick, Tony Kemp, Jake Marisnick, Myles Straw
Brian McCann, Martin Maldonado
Designated Hitter (2)
Tyler White, Evan Gattis