Astros manager Bo Porter has named his starting pitchers for the second and third games of the season. Jarred Cosart gets the start in game two and Brett Oberholtzer will take the mound for game three. Scott Feldman had already been announced as the starter for the April 1st opener at home against the Yankees.
Cosart, the author of five perfect innings against the Nats on Wednesday, has undoubtedly earned the #2 spot in the rotation. Jarred has fanned 16 in 12 innings this spring while walking only five. Cosart has been outstanding, allowing only seven hits thus far.
Oberholtzer gets the call for the finale of the opening series. The lefty has appeared in only two big league games during camp but has also pitched in a pair of minor league contests. Although Obie had a strong finish in 2013 and I’ve already proudly announced him as my favorite player, I’m a little surprised that Porter has already made this decision. Obviously, Obie is a big part of the team’s plans moving forward and Porter has confidence in the young man.
That still leaves two spots available. Lucas Harrell had a solid outing today and is still in the mix. Dallas Keuchel and Brad Peacock have also pitched well. Peacock is scheduled to pitch in relief of Feldman on Friday. Free agent acquisition Jerome Williams is also in the running.
Of the four pitchers still in the hunt, I would expect all of them to be part of the Astros Opening Day roster. The two that don’t crack the rotation are likely to stay with the big club and work out of the bullpen.