The Houston Astros now have 11 games under their belt this spring, and some young players are starting to make some notable impressions.
Joe Musgrove and the Astros faced the New York Mets for the third time in March and threw three scoreless frames. He now has eight innings pitched, giving up one earned run and striking out seven. Musgrove is in a battle for the fifth rotation spot and looks to be winning it. Musgrove had this to share following his performance via McTaggart.
"“I’ve been hesitant the last couple of outings to really let [the slider] go and trust in it,” Musgrove said. “I think my arm has caught up and my body has been feeling good, and I kind of went game speed today like I would in the season, and it was sharp. It felt good.”"
The other competitors are Mike Fiers and Chris Devenski. Fiers appears to be dealing with a sore hamstring and will miss his next slated start on Saturday. Young prospect Francis Martes will take his spot, and Devenski will relieve him.
"McCullers, who missed the final two months of last season following an elbow sprain and has been on an individualized throwing program, mixed his arsenal well, throwing 16 of 24 pitches for strikes. He retired all six hitters he faced, striking out Stephen Piscotty in the first inning and Jedd Gyorko and Anthony Garcia in the second."
McCullers will be a key piece in the Astros rotation this year. He has struggled with walks and injuries thus far in his young career and could be a breakout candidate for Houston. His next start is slated for Tuesday against the Mets.