Play ball! It’s Opening Day for the 2023 Major League Baseball season, and the Houston Astros will look a bit different off the bat.

Justin Verlander is now a New York Met, Yuli Gurriel is now a Miami Marlin, and Jose Altuve is out with a thumb injury.

As for the rest of the roster, some cuts had to be made to establish a 26-man roster. So which Astros youngsters didn’t make the cut? Our partners at the Houston Chronicle has a list of the players who will start the year at Triple-A Sugar Land.

  • C Korey Lee
  • IF/OF JJ Matijevic
  • IF/OF Bligh Madris
  • IF Rylan Bannon
  • RHP Brandon Bielak
  • IF Dixon Machado
  • OF Justin Dirden
  • LHP Austin Davis
  • RHP Ty Buttrey

They also shared a list of new faces joining the squad.

  • OF Corey Julks
  • C Yainer Diaz
  • C Cesar Salazar
  • RHP Ronel Blanco
  • RHP Seth Martinez

With the Astros hosting the White Sox at Minute Maid Park with a 6:08 p.m. pitch, it’ll be Framber Valdez, the left-hander from the Dominican Republic, who will start in his second straight opening day game.

The White Sox have a 81-81 overall record and were 44-37 in road games last season.

If you have a game ticket, you’ll have a lot to do before the first pitch is even thrown. There will be a street fest outside Minute Maid Park from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will be music, games, food, and drinks.

Once inside at the ballpark, fans will see a new gift shop out in Center Field where they’ll be able to purchase new ‘Stros swag.

Attendees will want to get to the ballpark early because after 5 p.m. is when the World Series Champions will be honored and the World Series banner will be unveiled out in left field.

Also taking part in the pre-game ceremonies will be Grammy-award-winning artist Megan Thee Stallion, country music star Cody Johnson, and actor Mark Wahlberg.

This would all cause traffic, but don’t forget the Final Four fan events are also happening downtown, so there will be several street closures around the ballpark.

“I urge you to plan your days ahead of time, check out street closures information, identify parking, and look at your transportation options. Plan to come to downtown Houston early and stay late to make a day out of cycling through all of these incredible happenings,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said during a press conference earlier this week.

Then on Friday, the Astros will all get their World Series rings.

If you don’t have tickets to Friday’s game yet, stop by the Shipley Do-Nuts at 8135 Interstate 10 Frontage Road for a chance to win tickets. The World Series trophy and the Shooting Stars will also be there.

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