The fifth wheel
Feb 26, 2015; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Dan Straily poses for a picture during photo day at Osceola County Stadium Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Dan Straily: Even though I would like to see Mark Appel here, I’m picking the safer option. If Straily can pitch anything like he did in 2013, he could be a steal in the Dexter Fowler trade. Meanwhile, Mark Appel will get a voodoo doll in the likeness of Straily. I’m personally rooting for him, since I did an interview with Straily. Brad Peacock could earn this spot too.
Brian Del Castillo
Dan Straily: He will be filling out the rotation right now, but that could change if Asher Wojciechowski can get healthy, stay healthy and put up a strong spring. Stud prospects Michael Feliz and Vincent Velasquez will surely get at least a half season more of seasoning in the minors before making an impact with the Stros.
Appel is the real reason the Astros didn’t go after a big FA for the rotation. They want to see Appel get his feet wet this year. His velocity is impressing during camp, and he also demonstrates during ST that his command is improved.
I’m going to pencil Dan Straily into the fifth spot, but will change that vote if Brad Peacock is ready for opening day. On the podcast Friday, Evan Drellich said that the Astros haven’t announced a timetable for Peacock’s return because injuries typically have setbacks. It sounds like he could be ready for the start of the season, and if that’s the case, I think he gets the nod.
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