In advance of today’s game the Mariners and Astros set the rosters they’ll use for the ALDS. A few reminders about playoff rosters, since we don’t have a lot of experience in that department:
- There are 26 spots on a roster that can be divided up as a team chooses. Only players who are on the 40-man roster and have been with the team as of August 31 are eligible for the post-season. A non-40 man player can be added in the case of injury.
- Injured players can be replaced on the post-season roster, but are then ineligible for the rest of the series and the subsequent series, if there is one. Pitchers can only be replaced by pitchers, and position players by position players.
- Teams can re-set their rosters at the beginning of every series.
Here’s who the Astros will be sending out against the Mariners:
Pitchers: Bryan Abreu, Hunter Brown, Luis García, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr., Rafael Montero, Hector Neris, Ryan Pressly, Ryne Stanek, José Urquidy, Framber Valdéz, Justin Verlander
Position players: José Altuve, Alex Bregman, Aledmys Díaz, Mauricio Dubón, Yuli Gurriel, David Hensley, Trey Mancini, Jeremy Peña, Yordan Álvarez (lol), Chas McCormick, Jake Meyers, Kyle Tucker. Catchers: Martín Maldonado, Christian Vázquez
The Astros are opting to go with 12 pitchers, as they did in last year’s ALDS. These are all mostly familiar names to Mariners fans, with the rotation stalwarts of Justin Verlander, Luis García, Framber Valdéz, and Lance McCullers Jr. José Urquidy, who the Mariners have hit well this year, will work out of the bullpen. One notable name from the Astros bullpen is missing: Phil Maton, who apparently suffered an “off the field” injury (update: in a true “I have breakfast cereal where my brains should be” move, Maton punched a locker after a meltdown in Wednesday’s regular series finale and broke his hand). Will Smith, the return from Atlanta in the Jake Odorizzi trade, also does not make the post-season roster. Hunter Brown gets the nod over Seth Martinez, who the Mariners saw this year; Brown is a rookie who was just called up in September, so the Mariners hitters will have not seen him.
Position-player wise, there aren’t a ton of surprises here; the biggest one is probably rookie David Hensley, who the Mariners haven’t seen at all this year, as he was only called up from Triple-A on August 20th. Hensley is a utility player, the Astros’ version of Dylan Moore, who can play all four infield spots and left field. Hensley got off to a very hot start in his short (34 PAs) look at the bigs, but don’t let his .586 slugging percentage scare you into thinking the Astros have another Álvarez on their hands; he’s a contact-over-power utility player.
The Astros list four outfielders—Yordan Álvarez, for whom the term “outfielder” is being used extremely loosely, Chas McCormick, Jake Meyers, and Kyle Tucker. The outfield is the only area where the Astros have inconsistency, having never fully replaced the lock that was George Springer in center field. McCormick and Meyers both bring above-average defense, but Meyers has had rough patches at the plate this year; he hit better in late August after a return from Triple-A, but McCormick seems to have jumped ahead of him in that time. Mauricio Dubón is listed as an infielder but if he gets into a game it will likely be as an outfielder. Trey Mancini is also listed as an infielder (first base), but has played some out field as well. With Álvarez primarily locked in at DH, the Astros will mix-and-match in the outfield to try to play matchups against the Mariners’ pitching.
And then, with far superior graphics (why a slideshow on Twitter, atAstros? Why such unreadable white text?) and also ALT text (so those of you with screen readers can click on this tweet) because the Mariners believe in accessibility:
Breakfast ✅— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) October 11, 2022
Mariners 2022 ALDS roster ✅ pic.twitter.com/vxHYKZgQLG
The Mariners go with one fewer pitcher in order to carry three catchers, although petition to re-classify Luis Torrens as a super-super-super utility player. Matthew Boyd gets on the post-season roster; Chris Flexen is left off, which is distressing as he has found some real success against the Astros this year. Matt Festa and Penn Murfee also re-appear; Murfee has fallen off some of late, but he baffled the Astros when they saw him earlier this year, so let’s hope that recurs. Also, per Shannon Drayer, the current plan is to use Kirby as a reliever, but the way the series goes will dictate his usage.
One more update: Games Three and Four, if necessary, Saturday (and Sunday), have start times: 1:07 PT and 12:07 PT. If there is a Game Five, it will be at Houston on Monday at 2:07 PT.