We have already discussed this quite a bit in the FanShot from this morning. I wanted to go over what the nine cuts mean for the Opening Day roster.
First of all, everyone has already commented that the most surprising cuts were probably Edwin Maysonet and Chris Shelton. That leaves Chris Johnson as the only infielder who wasn't expected to make the 25-man roster. We're all assuming he's going to be ticketed for Triple-A, but as OremLK, clack and timmy all mentioned in the comments earlier, this could mean a move to first base for Johnson while Berkman is on the DL. It could also suggest that Berkman will be ready for Opening Day and won't be going on the DL as we all assume.
Both Cory Sullivan and Jason Bourgeois are still on the roster, but since they were both non-roster invitees, the Astros don't have to make a decision on them just yet. This also could mean that the Astros are letting Bourgeois get healthy before making a final decision. I'm not sure if he'd get through waivers to go to Triple-A or not, but that could be another reason. By dragging out his release, the team is basically keeping him from factoring into other teams 25-man roster decisions.
The pitching staff also seems to be pretty set, but there are still 14 guys on the roster when the Astros will only carry 12. Who gets cuts from the rest of these players? That number includes Alberto Arias, who will begin the season on the DL and Yorman Bazardo, who also is nursing an injured shoulder. That means Chris Sampson and Slammin' Sammy Gervacio both made the bullpen. While Wilton Lopez and Casey Daigle both pitched well this spring, neither have either the track record in the majors or the pedigree in the minors to make me feel good about them starting the season in the big leagues.
The last non-surprising cut was Jason Castro, officially giving J.R. Towles the starting job at catcher. If Berkman does start the season on the DL, today's spring lineup could be the regular season lineup for the first week or so. That means Kaz Matsui will be the two-hitter and Towles will bat seventh. The choice I'm most dubious about is Blum as a five-hole hitter. I know the Astros have done that this spring quite a bit, but it just bothers me. The guy has no power any more and doesn't make a ton of contact (.274 career BABiP, .302 career wOBA). I'm a little concerned about him being in the heart of the order.
It also looks like either Tommy Manzella will be ready for next week against the Giants or Mills feels good about putting Jeff Keppinger and Blum at short. Manzella will be playing five innings at DH in a minor league game today. He needs to get that lateral movement back before playing in the field, but it's an encouraging step.
Anything I missed?