The Astros dropped their fifth consecutive exhibition game Tuesday, falling 8-1 to the Miami Marlins. Starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel, who entered the contest with a 0.00 ERA in nine spring innings, was roughed up for seven earned runs and 13 hits in his four innings of work.
Thanks to his earlier efforts, Keuchel should still be in the running for a spot in the Astros rotation. The lefty appeared in 31 games for Houston last season, including 22 as a starter. Keuchel figures to work in a similar role in 2014.
The Astros offensive struggles continued as the team manged only three hits today against a quartet of Marlins’ hurlers. Top prospect Carlos Correa had one of them. Peter Gammons took a few moments away from covering the Red Sox and actually crafted a positive article highlighting both Correa and George Springer. A passage from the Gammons piece brings to light a couple of factoids that Astros fans may not have known.
His coaches point out that he is very serious about his diet (no red meat), does not drink, is the first player to the park every morning and the last to leave the weight room each night. “He is beyond belief,” says hitting coach John Mallee, who was Stanton’s mentor with the Marlins.
In another article we learn that the Astros are rumored to be looking for a right-handed hitting first-baseman. I’m not sure how much stock I’d put into this idea. All of the players mentioned in the article appear to be near duplicates of Jesus Guzman. I’m not sure how everyone else feels, but one Guzman is enough for me. Carp. Mayberry. Moore. No thanks.
Finally, a Canadian publication profiles 21-year old lefty Evan Grills. The Ontario native seems like quite an interesting guy. Grills has been in the Astros organization since being selected in the tenth round of the 2010 draft.
“I just got a guitar for Christmas, so I’ve been ripping guitar for four or five hours a day,” said Grills. “I love music, writing, poetry, anything artistic.”
Keep on ripping, Evan!
The Astros take on the Washington Nationals Wednesday at 5:05 Central. Jarred Cosart gets the start for Houston.