Health makes Astros' roster decisions easy

Health makes Astros' roster decisions easy

HOUSTON -- Missed it by that much.

With the Astros setting their 25-man roster for Opening Day late Thursday by picking Jandel Gustave for the final bullpen spot over James Hoyt, we took a look back at the two roster predictions we made earlier in the year -- one made in January and one a few weeks ago.

The roster prediction we made in mid-March came very close to what manager A.J. Hinch's final roster looked like. The 12 position players were the same, but Mike Fiers took a rotation spot over Collin McHugh, who is on the disabled list, and Brad Peacock and Gustave took the final two bullpen spots.

In our defense, Fiers would have been the long reliever in the bullpen -- as predicted -- had McHugh not been slowed by arm fatigue. So when Fiers went into the rotation, that opened up a spot for Peacock. We mistakenly picked Hoyt over Gustave, who wound up getting the final spot.

Gustave K's Bryant

When we take a look back at the roster prediction we made prior to the start of camp, the results still aren't too bad.

Even though Hinch was always leaning toward only 12 position players, we had Tyler White making the team as a 13th position player. That didn't happen. We nailed the rotation, though with the exception of McHugh over Joe Musgrove.

As far as the bullpen is concerned, we had the Astros carrying only eight relievers, one of which was Hoyt, who didn't make it. We didn't have Peacock and Gustave in the bullpen, but all things considered, our Opening Day roster prediction was pretty spot on.

Here is the Astros' Opening Day roster:

Catchers (2): Brian McCann and Evan Gattis.

First base (1): Yulieski Gurriel.

Second base (1): Jose Altuve.

Third base (1): Alex Bregman.

Bregman on batting order

Shortstop (1): Carlos Correa.

Utility (1): Marwin Gonzalez.

Designated hitter (1): Carlos Beltran.

Outfield (4): George Springer, Josh Reddick, Norichika Aoki and Jake Marisnick.

Starting rotation (5): Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr., Charlie Morton, Musgrove and Fiers. 

Bullpen (8): Ken Giles, Luke Gregerson, Will Harris, Tony Sipp, Chris Devenski, Michael Feliz, Gustave and Peacock.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.