Astros Spring Notes: Dallas Keuchel Takes a Step Forward

codypoage
Mar 12, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 12, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Thankfully, the end of Spring Training is near and the Astros will be returning to Houston soon.

Look, I have nothing against Spring Training in principal. However, I am happy that meaningful baseball will be played again soon. And the Astros will then embark on hopefully their best season to date.

Anyway, that is enough of my Spring Training rant for today. On the plus side, the Astros did manage to win a game against the Miami Marlins yesterday to the score of 7-3. J.D. Davis collected three hits and his eleventh stolen base of camp. Brian McCann collected another home run. The team went 4-for-17 with runners in scoring position. So, not too shabby.

The headline though is about Dallas Keuchel and the progress he is making for the upcoming season. As you may have heard by now, the Astros will be without the services of Collin McHugh to start the season. And while there are options, the act of replacing those quality innings is easier said than done. Enter Keuchel, who the Astros need to have a good start to the season.

In his start yesterday, Keuchel did allow all three of the Marlins’ runs. Of course one of those runs came via a Giancarlo Stanton solo home run, which is forgivable. But he did make it through 4.2 innings in decent shape and threw 90 pitches.

Let us hope that he can take this start and continue to take steps forward. The Astros will need it no doubt.

Looking forward, the Astros roster is all but set. The only notable job up for grabs is in the bullpen between Jandel Gustave and James Hoyt. An uneventful close to Spring Training is in order once that job is decided following Thursday’s game.

Next: Astros Bullpen Battle: James Hoyt or Jandel Gustave?

Only mere days separate us and start of the 2017 season. And while Spring Training has been real, this fan is ready for the real action to begin.

**Statistics courtesy of MLB.com**

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