Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The 40-Man Roster and the Rule 5 Draft - Pt. 1

The Astros will soon be looking to make changes to the 40-Man Roster in advance of the Rule 5 draft. The deadline for making changes to the roster will be in the latter part of November and the Rule 5 draft is scheduled for December 6th. Changes will have to be made to: a) give Jeff Luhnow the flexibility to pick up a player or two as he did with Marwin Gonzalez and Rhiner Cruz in 2011, and b) protect players vulnerable to the draft.

First, let's look at the existing 40-Man Roster which is currently full to bursting with 40 players, plus two players on the 60-day disabled list. Although those on the 60-day DL don't count against the 40-Man Roster, you do have to consider what will happen if/when Weiland and Escalona come off the DL because someone will have to go at that point.

LHP Fernando Abad
RHP Hector Ambriz
LHP Xavier Cedeno
RHP Paul Clemens
RHP Rhiner Cruz
RHP Jorge de Leon
RHP Enerio del Rosario
LHP Sergio Escalona - 60-day DL
RHP Chuckie Fick
RHP Edgar Gonzalez
RHP Lucas Harrell
LHP Dallas Keuchel
RHP Arcenio Leon
RHP Wilton Lopez
RHP Jordan Lyles
RHP Bud Norris
LHP Rudy Owens
RHP Fernando Rodriguez
RHP Mickey Storey
RHP Jose Valdez
RHP Kyle Weiland - 60-day DL
LHP Wesley Wright

Of the pitchers on the 40-man, I think those most in jeopardy of losing a spot are going to be relief pitchers. With that said, there are two pitchers who I feel are the most vulnerable.

I will be very surprised if Arcenio Leon keeps a spot on the 40-man. Leon had a decent season at AA, but after a full two seasons at Corpus, he has yet to really distinguish himself and there are others waiting in the wings for that opportunity.

Jorge de Leon has great stuff, but he had a tough year at Lancaster in 2012 as the great "de Leon as a starter" experiment proved to be an abject failure. Back in the bullpen, he did fairly well considering his propensities as a flyball pitcher in an unforgiving ballpark. But once again, you may need to weigh the fact that he is now 25 and hasn't pitched above Hi-A with the fact that there may be other higher ceiling pitchers who are in greater need of protection from the draft.

I think it is also at least possible that one more right-handed relief pitcher may come off the roster whether it is Chuckie Fick, Enerio del Rosario or even possibly Jose Valdez (although I'm higher on Valdez than many). Depending on Sergio Escalona's health, we might see a lefty come off as well, but I think that will be more unlikely. Finally, if any of the starting pitchers were removed from the roster, I would think that Edgar Gonzalez could draw the short straw as he enters his first year of arbitration eligibility this year.

*Jason Castro
#Carlos Corporan
Chris Snyder

Depending upon whether or not the Astros want to keep Chris Snyder, I wouldn't be surprised to see either Corporan or Snyder removed from the 40-man roster. Keep in mind that removing Corporan from the 40-man roster doesn't mean that the Astros can't re-sign him to a minor league deal as they've done with him previously.

Jose Altuve
Matt Dominguez
Matt Downs
#Marwin Gonzalez
Tyler Greene
Brandon Laird
#Jed Lowrie
*Scott Moore
*Brett Wallace

I would be very surprised to see Matt Downs remain on the 40-man roster in light of some of the other players who will need to be protected from the draft. Beyond that, I won't even hazard a guess since my Jeff Luhnow mind-reader is on the fritz.

Brandon Barnes
*Brian Bogusevic
*Fernando Martinez
J.D. Martinez
Justin Maxwell
#Jimmy Paredes
*Jordan Schafer
*J.B. Shuck

I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen with the outfield either. I think Shuck may be the odd man out since he profiles more as a bench player than a starter. But beyond that, I simply do not know how things will play out, particularly with Brian Bogusevic and Jordan Schafer.

*Bats Left
#Switch Hitter

These are obviously only guesses and I'm often wrong about the thinking of the front office, but I cannot see any way around cutting several players from the 40-man roster in order to give the team the flexibility they are going to need. Tomorrow (if I finish writing it by then), I'll look at those players that I feel are most susceptible to being taken in the Rule 5 draft and, therefore, most in need of being protected on the 40-man roster.

1 comment:

  1. I'm thinking at least 9 guys will get added to the 40-man, and an additional 2 that I'd like to hold onto. I'd rather keep Downs and lose Moore, but I doubt Luhnhow agrees based on last season. Also keep in mind that the team is likely to cut an additional player to make room for another Rule V pick.

    If it were my job, we'd be removing 14 of the 42 players. Bogusevic/Barnes/Ambriz/Valdez/Del Rosario/Schafer/Leon/De Leon/Moore (or Downs)/Snyder/E. Gonzalez/Escalona/Fick/Abad.