"I understand our roster looks set, but things can happen," Hinch said. "Guys can earn at-bats, they can earn opportunities. We can change the structure of our roster if need be. This is what a team that's going into the season profiled to be good, that has a lot of depth, is supposed to feel like. It should be hard to crack our team. The message to the younger guys is play as well as you can and make us make a tough decision."
"We sort of have a good idea this year, more than ever before, of who's going to be on the 25-man roster," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "There's a few spots up for grabs, so it's really about how the whole group comes together."
Here's a prediction of what the 25-man roster will look like on Opening Day:
Catcher (2):McCann and Evan Gattis. Barring an injury, the Astros will have a catching duo that combined to hit 52 homers last year, giving them power from both sides of the plate.
First base (2):Yulieski Gurriel and White. First base has been a revolving door for the Astros, but Gurriel should provide stability. White can play first and third, and he's shown some impressive flashes with his bat.
Second base (1): Jose Altuve. One of the game's best hitters, Altuve, a two-time American League batting champion, remains entrenched at second at Minute Maid Park.
Third base (1):Alex Bregman. The Astros expect big things from Bregman in his first full season in the Majors.
Shortstop (1):Carlos Correa. He'll play most of his season at 22 years old and could be on the cusp of becoming one of the game's great players.
Utility (1):Marwin Gonzalez. The versatile switch-hitter started at first base (74 games), third base (16), left field (14) second base (eight) and shortstop (six) last season.
Designated hitter (1): Beltran. The 19-year veteran returns to Houston on a one-year deal and should get most of the at-bats at DH while chasing his first ring. Gattis will get at-bats at DH, too.
Outfield (4): George Springer, Reddick, Aoki and Jake Marisnick. Beltran will see time in left field, but Springer, Reddick and Marisnick are Gold Glove-caliber defenders, with Springer moving to center to make room for Reddick in right.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.