Lineup, bullpen to feature several new faces

After busy offseason, Astros camp will help determine batting order, roster

Lineup, bullpen to feature several new faces

HOUSTON -- There could be as many as four new players -- and a lot more homers and RBIs -- in the starting lineup for the Astros when the season begins, thanks to an offseason full of trades and signings.

MLB.com's Spring Training preview series takes a shot at projecting the Astros' batting order, rotation and bullpen. Trying to project a batting order seven weeks out from the season opener can be tricky, but considering all the new faces, it can be a useful exercise.

Of course, there are a few spots in the lineup and rotation that won't be determined until after Spring Training is over. There is a battle for the final rotation spot, and exactly how the new-look outfield fits together is anyone's guess, so positioning will be key in determining the batting order.

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One area where the Astros feel pretty good about who's going to make the team is in the bullpen, which features newcomers Luke Gregerson, Pat Neshek and Joe Thatcher, among others. The top three spots in the rotation are set, too.

2014 record
70-92, fourth in the AL West

Projected batting order
1. 2B Jose Altuve:
.341 BA, .377 OBP, .453 SLG, 7 HRs, 59 RBIs, 56 SBs in 2014
2. SS Jed Lowrie:
.249 BA, .321 OBP, .355 SLG, 6 HRs, 50 RBIs
3. RF George Springer:
.231 BA, .336 OBP, .468 SLG, 20 HRs, 51 RBIS
4. DH Chris Carter:
.227 BA, .308 OBP, .491 SLG, 37 HRs, 88 RBIs
5. CF Rasmus:
.251 BA, .307 OBP, .407 SLG, 16 HRs, 52 RBIs
6. LF Evan Gattis:
.263 BA, .317 OBP, .493 SLG, 22 HRs, 52 RBIs
7. C Jason Castro:
.222 BA, .286 OBP, .366 SLG, 14 HRs, 56 RBIs
8. 1B Jon Singleton:
.168 BA, .285 OBP, .335 SLG, 13 HRs, 44 RBIs
9. 3B Luis Valbuena:
.249 BA, .341 OBP, .435 SLG, 16 HRs, 51 RBIs

Projected rotation
1. Scott Feldman: 8-12, 3.74 ERA in 2014
2. Dallas Keuchel: 12-9, 2.93 ERA
3. Collin McHugh: 11-9, 2.73 ERA
4. Brett Oberholtzer: 5-13, 4.39 ERA
5. Dan Straily: 1-3, 6.75 ERA

Projected bullpen
Closer: Gregerson: 3/11 saves, 2.12 ERA in 2014
RH setup man: Chad Qualls: 3.33 ERA
LH setup man: Tony Sipp: 3.38 ERA

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.