The Houston Astros aren’t expected to make a lot of tweaks to their World Series roster in comparison to the one for the American League Championship Series.
They could, however, bring in an additional left-handed reliever because the Philadelphia Phillies, their foe in the Fall Classic that starts on Friday, has several dangerous hitters from that side of the plate.
That’s the reasoning of an Astros insider, and it makes a lot of sense.
“The Phillies have far more balance than the Yankees. Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper, Brandon Marsh and Bryson Stott all hit lefthanded. Would not be surprised if the Astros swapped Will Smith for Seth Martinez and kept the rest of their ALCS roster intact for the World Series,” Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle tweeted.
The Phillies have far more balance than the Yankees. Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper, Brandon Marsh and Bryson Stott all hit lefthanded. Would not be surprised if the Astros swapped Will Smith for Seth Martinez and kept the rest of their ALCS roster intact for the World Series.
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) October 24, 2022
The left-handed Smith had a solid 3.27 ERA in 22 innings with the Astros, but did struggle at times while playing for the Atlanta Braves earlier in the year.
Smith Makes Sense As A Roster Substitution
Swapping Seth Martinez for him makes sense.
Smith has a lot of postseason experience, most notably last year with the Braves.
He was perfect in their successful World Series run, as he hurled 11 scoreless innings in October.
With Atlanta, he had some control issues that led to an elevated 4.38 ERA in 37 innings earlier this year.
As Rome noted in the replies of his original tweet (when confronted by a fan who showed some ugly numbers against the Phillies this year), the Astros worked to fix some things with Smith.
In the process, he also clarified the Astros’ bullpen pecking order for the World Series.
“They’ve fixed some things with him since getting him from Atlanta and he’s throwing the ball better. And, again, if he’s on the roster, he will be far down the pecking order. Neris/Abreu/Montero will still see the majority of lefties in big spots,” Rome said.
Smith is shaping up to be the Astros’ only change as they prepare to face the Phillies.