Carry 13 pitchers? Probably necessary, for now.
The Astros are going with the unconventional 13 pitchers and 12 position players for the time being, but a quick look at the rotation situation and the schedule shows that this is probably the right thing to do for now.
Bud Norris will miss at least two starts with bursitis and elbow tendinitis, which pushes Brian Moehler into starting duty. Moehler obviously has extensive experience both starting and relieving, but he’s not exactly stretched out for rotation duty. His longest outing of the season is three innings, and that happened in his second appearance on April 9.
So it’s entirely possible that Moehler might be able to pitch into the sixth or seventh inning Saturday, which is where Wesley Wright comes in. He has been starting at Round Rock and is a prime candidate for the long man role Moehler vacated when he overtook Norris’s spot.
The other issue is the schedule. The Astros are in a stretch of 20 games without an off day, the most consecutive games a team can play without a day off, per league rules. They have 17 more days before their next break, which could be taxing for the pitchers. Having the extra arm in the ‘pen is smart, and probably necessary.