HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 26: Angel Sanchez #36 of the Houston Astros celebrates with Jimmy Paredes #38 and Matt Downs #16 after laying down a bunt in the bottom of the tenth scoring Brian Bogusevic from third base with the winning run against the St. Louis Cardinals at Minute Maid Park on September 26, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
For most MLB teams, the focus is now officially on 2012. You can probably say the same for most fans, too. So today, we're kicking off a series here at MLBDD that projects each team's 25-man roster for Opening Day 2012. We're not projecting trades or free agent signings here, so this is purely focusing on the talent that each team already has in-house. The 2012 season may not start soon, but we can still think about what it might look like.
Starting Lineup (ages are based on April 4, 2012)
Catcher: Jason Castro - Age 24
First Base: Brett Wallace - Age 25
Second Base: Jose Altuve - Age 21
Third Base: Jimmy Paredes - Age 23
Shortstop: Angel Sanchez - Age 28
Left Field: Carlos Lee - Age 35
Center Field: Jordan Schafer - Age 25
Right Field: J.D. Martinez - Age 24
1. CF Schafer 2. 2B Altuve 3. RF Martinez 4. LF Lee 5. 1B Wallace 6. 3B Paredes 7. C Castro 8. SS Sanchez
1. LHP Wandy Rodriguez - Age 33
2. RHP Brett Myers - Age 31
3. RHP Bud Norris - Age 27
4. LHP J.A. Happ - Age 29
5. RHP Jordan Lyles - Age 21
Closer: RHP Mark Melancon - Age 27
Some Quick Thoughts
- It's not totally clear whether the Astros will actually give Wallace another shot at first base, although it seems likely. He'll have to impress during the spring, though, because the club could easily shift Lee to first base full-time and use Bogusevic and Martinez on the outfield corners.
- Third base is another tough position. Paredes was surprisingly solid there in 46 games this season, but he didn't play nearly as well in the upper minors and the Astros may want to give him a full-time gig in the minors to develop. In that case, I'd assume that Downs is first in line to get a shot after his strong 2011.
- I don't really know how all of arrest for felony possession of marijuana, but I'd assume that he's still the projected starter in center going forward. The Astros don't have any obvious alternatives unless they want to stretch Bogusevic in center. character issues will affect his standing with the team, particularly after his recent
- The rotation could be even thinner come spring if the club trades Rodriguez and/or Myers. Norris is an awfully intriguing pitcher given his ability to miss bats, though.
- There are a bunch of different relievers that you could slot in there, including Aneury Rodriguez, Fernando Abad, Juan Abreu and Henry Sosa.