Well this time last week the Astros were in the basement of the Grapefruit League and things haven’t changed since then as theyhave a record of 6-13. However, the good news is that the Astros got four of those wins in the last week going 4-6 and playing .500 ball since Tuesday. Hopefully the Astros can build on this as we are a little more than halfway through spring training and less than three weeks away from Opening Day.
The Astros have a little less of a workload this week, only playing seven games and having only one day where they have a split squad game, coming up on Sunday. This is how the rest of the Astros week looks:
Monday, March 14th at Philadelphia
Tuesday, March 15th at Baltimore
Wednesday, March 16th vs. Washington
Friday, March 18th at Florida
Saturday, March 19th vs. St. Louis
Sunday, March 20th at Atlanta
Sunday, March 20th vs. Detroit
Things to watch this week:
Injuries are starting to pile up
By this time, almost all Astros fans know about the injury to Jason Castro and the effect it is going to have on this team and at this point it seems pretty even between Quintero and Towles in the battle for the starting catcher position. This past week it was reported that Wandy Rodriguez has a mild case of tenditis in his throwing shoulder. This is not a good sign for a pitcher who the Astros just gave 34 million dollars to this off-season. He will miss his next scheduled start and hopefully this stays a mild case and does not worsen so he will be ready for Opening Day.
Also this week, Jason Michaels has still been battling back problems but has been getting work in at the plate as the DH. Hopefully he can get his back completely healthy and get some work in the field as he will be the 4th outfielder and the primary back up for all three outfield spots. Carlos Lee also needed to move to DH and come out of the field because his shoulder started to act up. Hopefully this will stay minor or the Astros may not have a choice but to move Lee to first base which would bump Brett Wallace out of the lineup, who has been having a pretty decent spring so far.
Roster cuts will start happening as we get closer to Opening Day
The Astros started making roster cuts today and sent thirteen players down to the minor league camp today. There was no real surprises and there really shouldn’t be as the Astros starting lineup has been pretty much set even before their first spring training practice. There was though some notable names of prospects who had good spring training, like first baseman Koby Clemens, who was the intrasquad MVP earlier this spring. Also included in this round were top prospects SS Jiovanni Mier and OF J.D. Martinez, who I think did enough to get an invite to the majors at some point this year. For a complete list of the players who were cut in the first round, please click here.