Once again, the Astros were on the wrong side of a lopsided defeat.
The Astros were bested by the New York Mets yesterday afternoon by the score of 11-3. Nothing much to see here as this is Spring Training and the results quite frankly do not matter.
But there were encouraging moments from those who figure to be contributors to the Astros in 2017.
First, Jake Marisnick went 3-for-3 with a home run. Don’t get too excited though as home runs are not part of the Marisnick allure. But he has played well thus far in Florida.
Next on the congratulatory list is Tony Kemp, who collected two hits in two trips to the plate. Like Marisnick, it is nice to see Kemp playing well in Spring Training. His versatility could be a valuable asset this season.
The noteworthy aspect of yesterday’s game though was Charlie Morton. You may remember him as the oft-injured starting pitcher that the Astros signed to a $14 million contract this past offseason.
Anyway, Morton will be a curious case to watch this year. Before his injury running down the base paths last season, he somehow increased his velocity. Per Brooks Baseball, his velocity increased across the board last April when compared to his previous work. Morton had the look of a different pitcher, albeit his 2016 season was a small sample. But it appears he is picking up in 2017 where he left off last year.
This is still proves to be true even when you account for adjustments.
Besides Morton, the pitching staff as a whole did not have a good day. Brady Rodgers and Ashur Tolliver surrerended a combined nine earned runs on twelve hits. On the bright side though, Michael Feliz helped his case for making the Opening Day roster with 1.1 innings with no runs or hits.
Like I stated earlier, there is no point in overanalyzing this rough start to Spring Training for the Astros. Heck, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, or Collin McHugh have not thrown one pitch this year in an actual live-game situation.
**Statistics courtesy of MLB.com**