The Astros will open the 2012 Major League baseball season on Friday against the Coloriado Rockies with a roster that may have some surprises for fans.
For one thing it turned out that Wesley Wright and Fernando Abad were not competing with each other for the left-handed bullpen spot. Both made the club as the team elected to go with only four outfielders and thirteen pitchers. There is little doubt this decision was made in part because it was decided to hold on to Rule V draftee Rhiner Cruz even though there still remains question how much or in what role he will fill on the pitching staff.
At the same time only four outfielders is not as strange as it may seem since first baseman Carlos Lee can still play left field if needed and backup infielder Matt Downs is a many-gloved player. He can play the outfield or on the infield at first, second or third pretty well and shortstop in a pinch.
The versatility of a number of players also left a spot open for outfielder Travis Buck. Of...