One of the more important pieces to the puzzle coming into this season was J.D. Martinez and so far this spring, he is doing just fine. On Wednesday, the Astros, lead by Martinez, crushed the Phillies 10-3. JD had 2 hits and 3 RBIs to blow open the game early on while Bud Norris looked sharp as ever. Norris went three hitless innings, with a base on balls as his only blemish. Jordan Schafer had 3 hits as well, continuing a good spring for the Astros centerfielder.
While it really hasn’t been brought up much, Martinez was pretty much assured his spot in LF after a good rookie year last season. It sure seems he hasn’t let that effect his game and if the Stros are to surprise this season, he’ll need to take that next step. If he can mix his ability to search out his pitch with an increase in power, the Astros may have found their LF for the foreseeable future. Jordan Schafer didn’t have his spot as secure and after an interesting offseason, needed to come in and prove something. After three hits today, I’d say he certainly is doing that. His defense was never the issue but getting on base has always been, if he is figuring it out then the Astros might have something to build off of.
Bud Norris had the best performance by an Astros’ pitcher this spring with some serious dealing today. What might be more impressive than his stats would be his pitch count, 33 pitches. That’s been an issue with Norris, if he has become more efficient, he might be ready for the next step in his evolution. Kyle Weiland also had another nice outing, 2 innings with 2 strikeouts and no runs. It appears he maybe taking control of the 5th spot in the rotation but there is still a long way to go. Stros face the Nationals tomorrow with Livan Hernandez taking the mound against his former squad for the second time this spring.