Houston Astros Roster
- AL West
- Minute Maid Park
Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. (elbow), who missed all of 2019 after having Tommy John surgery, will throw batting practice on Saturday. McCullers will simulate three innings, which is something similar to what he did a few days ago. He made three Grapefruit League starts before spring training was suspended and hopes to get his pitch count to 80 or 90 by the end of summer camp and be ready for the start of the season. "Im in a very good place, mentally and physically," McCullers said. "I feel excellent." The right-hander was 10-6 with a 3.86 ERA in 2018 and has profit potential as a fringe top-50 fantasy starter in the shortened season. He could be flying under the radar in your league because of the fact he missed all of last season.
Houston Astros outfielder/designated hitter Yordan Alvarez is currently not in Houston as camps across the league begin to open. When asked about the situation, manager Dusty Baker replied that the reigning Rookie of the Year is not present due to "league mandates." Nothing has been confirmed, but it is fair to consider that his absence is due to a health issue related to COVID-19. Alvarez is looking to prove that his phenomenal rookie season wasn't a fluke, but he may not be able to join the team for the next one to two weeks. Alvarez may not have tested positive for coronavirus, but he may have come into contact with someone who tested positive.
Houston Astros starting pitcher Forrest Whitley, the team's No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, was included on the team's 60-man player pool for the upcoming 2020 season. Whitley is the only Astros player on the list of top-100 prospects, coming in at No. 19. Their No. 12 prospect, right-hander Brandon Bielak is also on the list. Jojanse Torres and Luis Garcia are two hard-throwing, intriguing lower-level arms that were included on the initial roster. Whitley struggled a bit in the minors in 2019, but he was dominant in the Arizona Fall League with a 2.88 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 32:9 K:BB over 25 innings. The 22-year-old is unlikely to make the rotation for the shortened season, but he'll be firmly in play in 2021.
The Houston Astros signed second baseman J.C. Correa, the younger brother of shortstop Carlos Correa, to a $20,000 deal (the maximum) as an undrafted free agent. The younger Correa had been taken by Houston in the later rounds of the last two drafts, but this year's draft was only five rounds because of the coronavirus pandemic. He hit .245 in 14 games as a senior for Lamar University before the season was shut down. Correa led his team with a .332 batting average, 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 2019. He played all around the infield in his time at Lamar, but the Astros are listing him as a second baseman.
Houston Astros starter Justin Verlander(groin, lat) is "right on schedule and recovering very well," according to Astros general manager James Click. Verlander underwent right groin surgery on March 17, but there has been no word yet on whether he has begun throwing again. With the season seemingly months away (if it happens at all), the right-handed veteran should be 100% whenever the start date of the 2020 regular season is decided upon. When healthy, Verlander is a top-tier choice in fantasy among starting pitchers, and he could become a nice value as a fantasy ace, depending on when your draft is. As we near the start of the season and Verlander resumes throwing, his price will only go back up.