We have a gap in the schedule today, so why not take a minute to catch up on some of our old friends around the league who are still playing this fine October? Because, as it turns out, there are quite a few of them on playoff teams around the league this year.
The A’s and Brewers had some of the biggest overlaps, so we’ll cover them despite being one-and-done thanks to the Wild Card game. And the Twins had some especially notable names on the list, despite being part of the only Division Series sweep.
Ex-Astros on the roster this season: Robbie Grossman (Astro from 2013-2015), Mike Fiers (2015-2017), Ramón Laureano (minor leaguer)
Fiers didn’t get into the game, but Grossman and Laureano were both in the starting lineup. Laureano drove in the first A’s run of the game with a sac fly in the third to make it 4-1 and singled in the seventh, while Grossman singled in the second and fourth only to be stranded both times.
Ex-Astros on the roster this season: Matt Albers (2006-2007, 2014), Jordan Lyles (2011-2013), Josh Hader (minor leaguer), Jacob Nottingham (minor leaguer)
There’s an interesting collection of trades involved in these histories. Albers was dealt away initially in the Miguel Tejada trade, Lyles was traded for Dexter Fowler, Hader came to town in the Bud Norris trade but was sent packing for Carlos Gomez, and Jacob Nottingham was dealt to Oakland for Scott Kazmir (before going to Milwaukee in the Khris Davis trade).
Anyway, Notthingham was a bit player for Milwaukee this year and didn’t make the Wild Card roster. Albers was the third-most-used reliever on the team this year, but didn’t make the cut either. Lyles was a midseason acquisition and did make the roster, but never entered the game. Hader both made the roster AND entered the game, but as you may have heard, things did not go well.
Ex-Astros on the roster this season: Marwin Gonzalez (2012-2018), Jason Castro (2010-2016)
In case you had forgotten, Castro was an All-Star back when he played in Houston. He didn’t play in the Division Series, though, as Mitch Garver got all three starts. Marwin, meanwhile, started all three games (playing both left field and first base), but was one of several Minnesota bats to go silent, going just 3-11 with a double.
Still in it
Ex-Astros on the roster this season: Dallas Keuchel (2012-2018), Brian McCann (2017-2018), Mike Foltynewicz (2014), Mark Melancon (2010-2011)
All four of these players have been pretty visible over in the NLDS. Keuchel started Game 1 and did what Atlanta needed, going 4.2 innings and allowing just one run on five hits. Then they asked him to pull a Verlander and start Game 4 on three days rest, and it went even worse than JV’s start, with 3 solo homers allowed in 3.1 innings. The Braves were still in line for the win though, thanks to their offense, but that fell apart.
Speaking of falling apart, there’s Melancon, who came to Houston in the Lance Berkman trade and left in the (first) Jed Lowrie trade. Melancon’s Game 1 performance ended up wasting Keuchel’s start, as he was credited with four runs on five hits and two walks in an inning. He picked up saves in games 2 and 3, but he still allowed three hits in those two innings.
McCann has served as the primary catcher so far, but has had a rough time so far, with a 2-13 line with a double and a walk. And Foltynewicz was part of the Evan Gattis trade, in case you had forgotten. He won his Game 2 start thanks to 7.0 shutout innings of three-hit, seven-K ball, and will be taking the mound in Game 5.
Ex-Astros on the roster this season: Dexter Fowler (2014), Luke Gregerson (2015-2017)
Gregerson will get a ring if St. Louis wins it all, but he actually hasn’t pitched for them in a while. They released him back in May, with most of the season and an entire team option year left on the deal he signed with them coming off the 2017 World Series. Fowler is still on the Cardinals, but having a rough time; he’s batting just .059/.111/.059 out of the leadoff spot, although his lone single and run scored were both part of the Game 1 comeback off of Melancon.
Ex-Astros on the roster this season: Kiké Hernández (2014), Tyler White (2016-2019)
White was picked up by the Dodgers back in July, but hasn’t played early August due to injuries. He’s still eligible for a ring if they win, but he’s probably not going to contribute on the field if it happens. Kiké, meanwhile, has made it into two games as a pinch hitter. He didn’t do anything in Game 1, but he was a big part of Game 3 with his sixth inning two-run double.
Ex-Astros on the roster this season: Tony Sipp (2014-2018)
Sipp signed with the Nationals over the winter, but was released from the team back in early August as part of the Nats’ bullpen overhaul.
Ex-Astros on the roster this season: Charlie Morton (2017-2018)
Morton picked up a win in both the Wild Card Game and Game 3 of the DS, with 5.0 innings of one-run ball in both (albeit unearned in the former). I…really don’t want to talk about this one too much.
Ex-Astros on the roster this season: Cameron Maybin (2017), J.A. Happ (2010-2012)
Maybin, who was the designated pinch runner/defensive sub on the 2017 champs, has served largely the same role on the Yankees this October. He has played in all three of their games so far, entering in the later innings and picking up an at bat in each. He even hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning of the clincher.
Happ, meanwhile, was part of the return for Roy Oswalt before being sent to Toronto with Brandon Lyon in the big trade that brought back Joe Musgrove, among others. The Yankees have relegated him to the bullpen this postseason, although he did throw a scoreless eighth in Game 1.