As we eagerly await the return of four players from yesterday’s World Baseball Classic final, the Astros are slowly starting to see their top players come back together.
Astros Spring Training in conjunction with the World Baseball Classic has made this early Spring more tolerable than I would’ve thought possible in a baseball sense. Alright, I admit this positive feeling in my being is mainly due to the World Baseball Classic.
This year’s iteration has been an excellent example of riveting baseball despite the lack of sound managerial decisions. Alas, this is the usual routine in baseball. But of all the exciting moments thus far, this Carlos Correa home run is going to stick with me for quite some time.
Anyway, the Astros are starting to witness their roster take shape for Opening Day. For example, Jose Altuve is finally back! And Houston should receive another shot in the arm this weekend as the absent four players return. I just hope Carlos Beltran‘s blonde stage passes through without much incident.
Back to baseball results though as this is what we, baseball fans, care about the most. And boy, did the Astros offense look good yesterday or not? Good for a Spring Training game anyway.
Altuve, the team’s spark plug, went 2-for-2 with a RBI and a walk in his first Astros appearance since the Industrial Revolution. And George Springer and Yulieski Gurriel flashed the power with one home run a piece. This “Springer Dinger” made me wish it was already April.
We know that the Astros hitters will have no problem actually hitting this season. However, we are not sure if the pitching staff will be relatively good at, you know, pitching. Or at least keeping their arms healthy for an entire season. Dallas Keuchel though has continued to demonstrate progress and improvement in Spring Training. Yesterday’s start was just another example.
This is the Keuchel that the Astros need in 2017 to go far and compete for the AL West title. But that is the obvious statement. But Collin McHugh‘s makes Keuchel’s development even more imperative than before.
By the way, I am starting to believe that Reid Brignac may have a decent chance of the making the Opening Day roster. I am not saying it is a definite possibility, but his chances have to surely improve. You can’t simply ignore a versatile player with an .897 OPS in 40 at-bats outright, can you?
**Statistics courtesy of MLB.com**