While the Astros were getting beat in Lakeland, news was being made by the Astros’ front office. The Astros lost 4-2 to the Tigers today and ended the spring at 14-16, although three exhibition games remain in Texas. Jason Castro continued to show off good health as he went deep today while Wandy seemed to finally be rounding into shape with a decent enough effort. Honestly, the game seemed more meaningless than the other 29 before it, that could be because Jeff Luhnow made a few roster moves that might have been expected but still surprising. I’m a fan of Brett Wallace but his demotion to Oklahoma City could be seen a mile away. Overall, a good send off and another day closer to real baseball with real results.
The game itself saw Wandy Rodriguez have his best start in a while and clean up some of the issues that had been troubling him. In comparison to regular season results, Wandy may be the worst spring training pitcher in quite some time. That all matters very little come next week but it’s still good to see some decent numbers. Castro’s health may have been the biggest bright spot this spring and his production a very nice little bonus. Castro will be counted on for leadership this season even though we’ve yet to see Jason play a full major league season. Rhiner Cruz might have also seen his last action as as Astro, hitting impressive digits on the gun but command is still an issue. I’m not sure how the ‘Stros can keep him on the roster at this point, being a rule V acquisition means he has to stay on the 25 man roster or have Luhnow workout a trade with the Mets. The guy has good to great stuff but he’s just not ready.
Now to the fun stuff, what can you say about Brett Wallace. He had a decent enough spring and if Carlos Lee wasn’t at 1st, he’d be there but we know that wasn’t happening. During the game Jeff Luhnow announced that Wallace was going to OKC as their everyday 3rd baseman. The fact they want him at 3rd means that his days at 1st base for Houston might be over, considering Jonathan Singleton isn’t too far away. What this means is rule 5 pick Marwin Gonzalez has made the squad and will be backing up, or maybe starting, at shortstop. Big move for the kid, he won’t hit much at all just yet but his glove looks really good. On a young team, where errors can kill confidence, a sure handed glove is key. The ‘Stros have a game in Corpus Christi tomorrow where Lucas Harrell will try to wrap up the 5th spot in the rotation, if that’s still in question after yesterday’s disastrous outing by Jordan Lyles.