One name stood out when the Astros released their American League Wild Card Series roster prior to Game 1 against the Twins on Tuesday: outfielder Chas McCormick.
That’s because McCormick, the team’s No. 24 prospect per MLB Pipeline, has yet to appear in a Major League game, which means he could become the third player to make his debut in the postseason, joining Mark Kiger (2006 AL Championship Series) and Adalberto Mondesi ('15 World Series).
|Gm 1||Sept. 29||2 p.m.||HOU @ MIN||ABC|
|Gm 2||Sept. 30||1 p.m.||HOU @ MIN||ESPN2|
|Gm 3*||Oct. 1||TBD||HOU @ MIN||ESPN/TBS|
*- If necessary | All times ET
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Beyond that, the Astros’ roster had been pretty set, though the club is carrying three catchers with the addition of Garrett Stubbs, which could allow them to pinch-run for starting catcher Martín Maldonado late in a game.
McCormick, 25, gives manager Dusty Baker a player he can use as a pinch-runner without having to burn up Myles Straw, who can run but also is a better option to play defense. McCormick spent the entire 2020 season working out at the team’s alternate training site in Corpus Christi, Texas.
“With [Cristian] Javier and [Framber] Valdez in the bullpen, we had an extra spot with somebody that could run and play defense, maybe pinch-hit,” Baker said. “You would like to have a designated runner, so I wouldn’t have to burn Straw all the time and keep him around for the outfield. That’s what went into that decision.”
McCormick appeared in 110 games last year between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Round Rock, and he hit .269 with six doubles, six triples, 14 homers, 66 RBIs and 16 steals.
The AL Wild Card Series roster features 12 players who have not appeared in a postseason game: right-handers Enoli Paredes, Andre Scrubb, Cy Sneed and Javier; left-handers Brooks Raley, Blake Taylor and Valdez; catchers Dustin Garneau and Stubbs; and infielders Jack Mayfield, Abraham Toro and McCormick.
Here is the Astros’ AL Wild Card Series roster:
Pitchers (12): Zack Greinke, Josh James, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr., Enoli Paredes, Ryan Pressly, Brooks Raley, Andre Scrubb, Cy Sneed, Blake Taylor, Jose Urquidy, Framber Valdez
Catchers (3): Martín Maldonado, Dustin Garneau, Garrett Stubbs
Infielders (7): Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Aledmys Díaz, Yuli Gurriel, Jack Mayfield, Abraham Toro
Outfielders (6): Michael Brantley, Chas McCormick, Josh Reddick, George Springer, Myles Straw, Kyle Tucker