Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

An Early Look at the 2024 Astros

The Houston Astros kept relatively quiet during the off-season. They have a new manager, a few new players, and big hopes for the 2024 season. Few overall changes have taken place, allowing fans to continue rooting on the lineup much as they did before. However, the changes made are hoped to not only shore up losses, but to push the Astros to another World Series win in 2024.

Spring training begins February 15, 2024, in West Palm Beach, FL. The Astros are coming off their sixth consecutive American League West title. They will be heading into the season defending that position under first-year manager Joe Espada, who took over from Dusty Baker following his retirement from the dugout. The majority of the Astros’ lineup will be returning, with their pitching rotation and bullpen reporting first. The 26-man roster will see two new position players and a bevy of spots available on the mound as we take a look around the horn for the Astros starting out the 2024 season.

An Early Look at the 2024 Astros


Martín Maldonado departed the team following a less-than-stellar season. With his departure, Yainer Diaz moves from waiting in the wings as a backup into the full-time catching role. Diaz proved his mettle throughout the 2023 season, garnering a fifth-place finish in the American League Rookie of the Year voting.  His output, which included a .282 batting average with 23 home runs, showed that he could take over the role offensively. To shore up the backstop, the Astros signed the switch-hitting veteran Victor Caratini from the Milwaukee Brewers to serve as his backup.

First Base

Little change here from the previous season with José Abreu taking the spot at first base. Jose takes the helm here for another season following the departure of Yuli Gurriel. His first season with the team was rough. Once he hit the IL with a back injury, Abreu returned in full force, playing much better down the stretch and into the playoffs. He likely will swap out time with a rotating batch of utility infielders to keep his bat and body fresh.

Second Base

Little else needs to be said about the Astros on the right side of the middle infield. With the contract Jose Altuve signed recently, he almost assured the city of Houston that he would remain in an Astros uniform until retirement. With his five-year, $125 million contract extension, owner Jim Crane keeps his slugger here through the 2029 season. Despite an injury-shortened season, Altuve still posted a .915 OPS in ninety games in 2023.


Flanking Altuve in the middle infield will again be Jeremy Peña. The rookie shortstop had to live up to high expectations replacing Carlos Correa in 2022. While he managed to shine and came away with both the World Series Most Valuable Player and a Gold Glove, his sophomore season was a bit lighter on the stats and saw his power numbers drop throughout the season. Despite this, his season was still solid and the team hopes he can bounce back to his rookie form.

Third Base

In addition to Altuve, few players remain from the early glory years of the current Astros post-season dynasty. One of those is Alex Bregman. While his second base counterpart signed a long-term deal in the off-season, Bregman will be exploring those options later this year. During the 2023 regular season, Bregman was a stalwart, appearing in 161 games, with 160 at third. While he is entering the final year of his contract, he remains not only the best third baseman in an Astros uniform, but he does so as one of the best in baseball.


With three spots in the outfield, they are likely already spoken for, and have been since the World Series. Chas McCormick will platoon with his left field counterpart, and designated hitter, Yordan Alvarez. This will allow a spot for Jake Meyers to move into center field on the regular, with the hopes that he will have a breakout season this year. When Alvarez moves to left, McCormick can then slide over to center field. Another player with upcoming contract talks takes right field this season; Kyle Tucker, who remains one of the emerging stars of baseball.

Designated Hitter

It is unlikely that Yordan Alvarez will simply line up at the plate this season. In fact, manager Joe Espada has intimated that he will be playing more left field this season. As one of MLB’s most feared hitters, he started 73 games as a DH with 40 in left field. While he missed six weeks of the season with a right oblique injury, he still managed to slug 31 home runs and drive in 97 runs.

Off the Bench

The Astros have one secured utility player coming out of the dugout this season. Mauricio Dubón picked up a Gold Glove last season at the utility position. As a versatile player, he picked up time throughout the infield as well as left and right field. The other two bench spots will come down to a spring training contest between Grae Kessinger, Corey Julks, David Hensley, Jon Singleton, and new signee Trey Cabbage.


While the Astros have been dealt a heavy hand in their rotation coming back into 2024, they have secured a bit of a relief to start the season. During the first six weeks of the season, the Astros have six off days. Using a six-man rotation when they open should give the rotation of Justin Verlander, Cristian Javier, Framber Valdez, Hunter Brown, José Urquidy, and J.P. France a chance to breathe. With ETAs still to be determined, the return of Luis Garcia from his Tommy John surgery and Lance McCullers Jr. from right elbow surgery won’t likely happen until closer to the All-Star Break.

The Bullpen

This was the huge gap left open by the Astros this off-season. The team bid farewell to three key arms from last season: Ryne Stanek, Phil Maton, and Hector Neris. Additionally, they lost Kendall Graveman for the year due to injury. Bryan Abreu will also miss the first two games of the season due to a suspension from the 2023 ALDS. They managed to fill in some of this gap with the high-profile signing of free agent Josh Hader. Along with Hader, Ryan Pressly and Rafael Montero will close out games for the 2024 Astros, with set-up help from the likes of newcomer Dylan Coleman, Forrest Whitley, Bennett Sousa, and Brandon Bielak. Relievers Parker Mushinski, Shawn Dubin, Seth Martinez, and Oliver Ortega will hope to usurp one of these spots.


Photo Credit: © Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message