Astros: Split-Squad Action Positives and Negatives (3-8)
By Eric Huysman
The Astros played two split-squad spring games on Sunday, where there were some positives and negatives in both games. This post will also will also look at the perceived battle between Jon Singleton and Jake Marisnick. One of the games had historical meaning, where eight pitchers were used.
Astros at Tigers
- Robbie Grossman: He’s entrenched in the battle for the fourth outfielder position on the opening day roster. Grossman continued his torrid spring today, going 2-for-3, with two runs scored and one run batted in. Grossman has shown potential in the past, but he has to beat out Alex Presley to be the fourth outfielder.
- Walking by George Springer: Not trying to earn a spot on the opening day roster, Springer is looking to improve his overall game. He showed a good eye, walking twice and getting a hit the other at bat. He is batting .429 so far this spring.
- Joe Thatcher: In his second spring outing, Thatcher continued his strong spring so far, with two scoreless outings.
- Special Note: The battle between Jake Marisnick and Jon Singleton for the opening day roster was very interesting today. Singleton has shown some power to date, and continued his power surge by hitting two doubles. Singleton is batting .429, so hopefully he will be able to keep this up through the regular season as well. Marisnick was down a little this spring, but had a great day by going 2-for-4, with three runs batted in.
- Brady Rodgers: In his second spring outing, Rodgers struggled to get outs again. He walked three batters, and let the Tigers score 4 earned runs on two hits.
- Dan Straily: While he did not get lit up, Straily did not have a strong outing. Over two innings, he gave up two earned runs on four hits and zero walks.
- Jonathan Villar: Despite hitting a two run triple, Villar was inserted as a pinch runner and was thrown out by the Tiger catcher McCann at first base. This hurts Villar’s chances of making the team as a utility guy, because he will be used as a pinch runner often to score.
- Nine’s too much – Unless the Astros offense is able to score 14 runs a night, the pitching staff can’t afford to give up nine runs.
Braves at Astros
- Scott Feldman: Despite giving up a run in two innings, he had good movement and was able to get out of jams. Unlike Straily, Feldman and his contract pretty much assures that he will make the rotation.
- Michael Feliz: The top prospect pitched two innings, while only giving up one hit. The broadcaster stated that his stuff was electric on the mound today.
- Astros scored two runs: Why is that a positive in a game tied at two? You will find out in a second.
- Bullpen is strong: Pat Neshek and James Hoyt both pitched well, as Hoyt is fighting for the last spot in the bullpen. Neshek was not incredibly sharp today, but he was able to pitch his way out of a bases loaded jam without allowing a run. Hoyt had his second strong appearance of the season, going two strong while allowing only one hit and a strikeout.
- Walk like an Astro: The Astros may have had a goose egg in hits, but they walked nine times.
- No hits: The Astros were no-hit by eight pitchers in ten innings. Despite not having any hits, they were able to score two runs. Cody Martin threw two innings, giving up two walks and three strikeouts to get the no-hitter started.
- Regular players: Some of the projected lineup members played in this game, including Jose Altuve, Jed Lowrie, Colby Rasmus, Chris Carter, and Jason Castro. This group went 0-for-11 with four walks.
Astros at Blue Jays
Collin McHugh versus Daniel Norris
Next: How Former Astros are Faring in Spring
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