Houston Astros’ Rotation news, McCullers, McHugh, and Keuchel
By Eric Huysman
The Houston Astros have had a hard time winning baseball games so far this Spring after a 2-1 start to spring training.
Some of the younger pitchers have got hit around lately, and the offense has not been able to keep up. Before we start panicking, Cy Sneed and Brady Rodgers are not likely to make the team out of camp. The was good news in yesterday’s Houston Astros game. The Astros didn’t lose, in back to back games.
Mike Fiers got the start a few days ago going 2 1/3 innings allowing two runs, only one earned. Jordan Jankowski, Jandel Gustave, and Reymin Guduan came in to hold the Marlins scoreless for the next 2 2/3 innings. The minor league pitchers then gave up four runs over the rest of the game, ending in a 7-7 tie. Yes, ties happen in spring training because managers have certain pitchers scheduled to pitch.
Morales chimes in.
Julia Morales joined Talking Stros Sunday and said that in an interview with Fiers, he knows that he may not be in the rotation. She said that Fiers told her that a no-hitter is not enough to keep a rotation spot. One thing she talked about a lot was the competition for the fifth starter. Listen to what she says below.
Devenski struggled a little in his first start, but manager A.J. Hinch is trying to stretch him out. It could be that Devenski is working on new pitches because his role is secure. Last year Devenski had to earn his way, this year he needs to get ready. Yesterday, Chris Devenski got another start. He pitched better the second time around pitching three innings giving up three runs with four strikeouts. The game ended in a 5-5 tie.
The big three.
One thing that has Astros fans a little concerned is that none of the big three have taken the mound in a game. Hinch has thrown out Fiers, Charlie Morton, and Joe Musgrove as well as a couple of other pitchers. Morton surprised the world in his start, throwing in the mid-nineties according to Brian McTaggart. Musgrove has been on point, as he pitched three shutout innings Saturday.
The big news is that Lance McCullers threw a simulated game Saturday and will get the start Thursday. Jake Kaplan said he would debut against the Cardinals. He will probably go two innings or less. The Houston Astros will be super protective of him. Once we get McCullers going, then we can worry about the other two.
According to McTaggart, Collin McHugh threw off a mound for the first time this Spring yesterday. McTaggart said he threw 25-30 pitches, McHugh said he felt good body wise afterward. He will probably pitch of the mound 3-4 more times before he faces hitters. Let’s assume that our third pitcher should be ready, but there are fallback options if he is not ready.
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Dallas Keuchel has said that he is the healthiest that he has been this Spring. He will throw a simulated game at 8:30 am according to McTaggart. If all goes well, he could be starting in a game later this week via Jake Kaplan. For the Houston Astros to win this year, we need all three of these guys with a little help from their friends. Once everyone is up to speed, watch out.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference and MLB At Bat App***