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Astros: Three Position Battles to Watch in Spring Training

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Mar 29, 2015; Kissimmee, FL, USA; A general view of the field from the roof of Osceola County Stadium during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2015; Kissimmee, FL, USA; A general view of the field from the roof of Osceola County Stadium during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Position Number Three: Backend of the Starting Rotation

Astros
Jul 18, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Mike Fiers (54) throws to the Oakland Athletics in the first inning of their MLB baseball game at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports /

There isn’t a question that the Astros top three starting pitchers are Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, and Collin McHugh. Of course that is contingent on health.

The remaining two slots in the starting rotation are somewhat up for grabs. Mike Fiers and Charlie Morton are the presumptive favorites. However, you shouldn’t discount Chris Devenski, Joseph Musgrove, Michael Feliz, Francis Martes, and Brady Rodgers.

Devenski and Musgrove are probably the favorites to challenge Fiers and Morton at this point. After all, both impressed in their debut seasons. Don’t forget that Devenski posted a 2.16 ERA/2.34 FIP in 108 innings of relief. In 62 innings as a starter, Musgrove posted a 4.06 ERA/4.18 FIP.

The backend of the rotation may play a vital role in 2017 for the Astros. After all, there isn’t a guarantee about Keuchel and McCullers’ health. And don’t forget that Fiers and Doug Fister were the most consistent Astros starters at one point last season.

Sure, the rotation may lack that for-sure ace on the front end. But the backend could better than most teams. It’ll be interesting to see who takes the job by the horns in Spring Training.

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