Astros Spring Training: Positives and Negatives of Game 3

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The Astros spring training schedule continued today versus the Yankees. The game started off in a positive way, but some of the Astros prospect pitchers gave up the lead and the win. Let’s look at some of the positive and negatives from the game.

Dallas Keuchel picked up where he left off in 2014, but so did the Astros bullpen losing the lead for Keuchel.

Positives

  • Dallas Keuchel: The Beard pitched two shutout innings, retiring the Yankees in order in the first inning. He gave up a hit then a walk to start the second inning, but got a big strikeout and double play to keep the game scoreless. Jason wrote about Keuchel earlier today here.
  • The closer Candidates: Luke Gregerson and Chad Qualls both threw effective shutout innings in today’s exhibition game. They both pitched an inning of shutout, with all zeros across the board.
  • Robbie Grossman: People are counting him out as the fourth or fifth outfielder, but he keeps hitting and proving others wrong. He has a .600 batting average after a one for two-day with a walk.
  • Third basemen: Luis Valbuena and Colin Moran both played good games today. The perceived starter at third base Valbuena, has started off spring training hitting well. Thank you Dexter Fowler!
  • Jose Altuve: Altuve got his first playing time in spring training, already he is batting .333, after going one for three with a run scored.
  • Josh Fields: The flame throwing righty was lights out Saturday, as he pitched a shutout inning, retiring the side on three strikeouts.

Mar 2, 2015; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Josh Fields (35) throws during morning work outs at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Negatives

  • Darin Downs: Downs didn’t have his good stuff today. In one inning, he gave up two of each the following hits, walks, and runs.  Downs is viewed as bullpen depth, who will probably start in AAA Fresno.
  • Pitching prospects: Even though they are both highly regarded, Jordan Jankowski and Kent Emanuel struggled against the Yankees on Saturday, giving up the lead. Jankowski in one and two-thirds innings gave up five runs, on five hits, one walk, and three strikeouts. Emanuel almost got Jankowski off the hook, but he ended up balking in a run.
  • Still haven’t seen full lineup: The Astros through their third game of spring training, have yet to display what the complete lineup can do when they are all playing together. It would nice to see the team together for a game, but is unlikely to occur tomorrow due to a split squad game.

Feb 26, 2015; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Jordan Jankowski poses for a picture during photo day at Osceola County Stadium Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros went on to lose the game 9-4 after leading the game until the 9th inning.

Next game for Astros

March 8th

Next: Which Astros prospect is most likely to contribute in 2015?

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