Kyle Weiland had one of the better starts for an Astros’ pitcher this spring by going 4 hitless innings against the evil empire. George Springer would put his mark on his first spring training by hitting the game winning double. Jason Castro also made another emphatic claim for the starting spot behind the plate with a 3-3 performance, continuing a torrid spring. Weiland and Castro both are on pace to win their spots with just excellent spring performances. The Astros snapped their meaningless 3 game losing streak and notched their fifth equally meaningless win against 4 losses.
When the Astros dealt for Weiland and Jed Lowrie, the plan was for Weiland to be in the rotation and with Brett Myers going to the pen this spring it only added to that belief. With his four innings of clean baseball, Kyle has now thrown eight innings giving up only three hits. I would love to see his strikeout numbers improve but the effectiveness is there. After a rough finish to 2011, many lost a little faith in Weiland’s ability but it appears Kyle is putting some of those thoughts to rest, at least for now. Projected to be a 4th or 5th starter, Weiland is on track for just that.
Jason Castro certainly looks to be back and fully healthy. After his injury issues this past year, one could only be a little skeptical about the Stanford product but so far he has been great. With Chris Snyder getting off to a pretty hot start of his own, the burden was on Jason to make the starting gig his own. At the very worst, Castro and Snyder are leading the race for a possible platoon situation.
Brett Myers and Jack Cust are a bit of a concern. Both have struggled quite a bit so far this spring. Myers, being a veteran hurler, can blame his struggles on getting in shape but for Cust, who is battling for a spot, these struggles could be crippling. With J.B. Shuck and Fernando Martinez both having good camps, the extra OF spot may be in jeopardy of falling from Cust’s reach. Can the club afford to keep a defensively challenged 1st baseman, who struggled offensively in spring training and had a miserable 2011 season? The Astros will face the Phillies tomorrow as Livan Hernandez goes up against Cole Hamels.