As Livan Hernandez strolled across the field today to join his new Braves teammates in the clubhouse Kyle Weiland had to feel like his chances of making the Astros starting rotation had increased tremendously. Weiland took the mound in Lake Buena Vista’s Champion Stadium confident that another candidate for his rotation spot had fallen by the wayside. Weiland’s confidence soon took a back seat to reality after giving up extra-base hits to each of the first three Atlanta hitters he faced. The Braves plated three runs in the inning before Weiland could get settled in.
Weiland was able to right the ship and keep the Braves off the scoreboard for the rest of his six inning outing. Kyle allowed a total of five hits and one walk and plunked Dan Uggla with a pitch. I would think today’s performance all but cemented Weiland’s spot in the rotation. But then again, pretty much every assumption I have made this spring has been wrong. I thought Hernandez had sewn up a spot and that obviously wasn’t the case.
Rhiner Cruz relieved Weiland and threw two scoreless innings. The Rule 5 draftee has rebounded lately after a rough start in an Astros uniform. Cruz has held the opponent scoreless in five of his last six appearances and is still in the mix for a bullpen spot. Control has been the big issue for Cruz. He has walked more than a batter per inning this spring. I’m also not too crazy about his three-quarter style delivery.
Chris Snyder provided all of the Astros offense with a solo shot in the seventh. It was Snyder’s fourth homer of the spring.
Final Score: Atlanta 3 Houston 1