Astros’ Spring Training games are underway and the quest to reach personal goals and to earn a major role on the 25 man roster has begun.
The Houston Astros have their first Spring Training game under their belt and players have begun to battle for a spot on the roster or to gain more playing time come regular season. The veterans will be using the time to knock off some rust, fine tune their skills and regain their strength following offseason surgeries.
"“I feel like with this particular team, I feel really good that the games got here quickly,” Hinch said. “We have an established team. We have a predominantly veteran team that’s been around. We have a team where there are very few questions- outside of a couple of health questions and few decisions we have to make.”"
Even though the Astros lost 7-6 in a late-game comeback by the Nationals, there were some bright spots in the game. Yesterday’s lineup consisted mainly of prospects and players that wouldn’t normally be considered regular season starters. With the two split-squad games scheduled for today, more of the veterans will get their first taste of live game action.
One of the positions with the most competition is the overcrowded outfield, and a few players made the most of their opportunities. One of those players is Jake Marisnick, who’s been working on his batting stance this offseason. He’s trying out more of a bent over at the waist stance, rather than a straight up position. It seems to be paying off so far, Marisnick hit a lead-off homer deep over the center field off of veteran pitcher Max Scherzer.
"“I think in the whole scheme of things, I just tightened up a few things. I learned a lot last year between the first and second half and took the offseason to polish up some things and to see results in the first at bat and the first couple of swings was great. To see it happen this early in spring was awesome.” Marisnick said."
Kyle Tucker started in left field and made his case for earning some time in the lineup by going 2 for 2 in his Spring debut. Then Astros’ #8 prospect Yordan Alvarez made a statement when he came in for Tucker and went 1 for 3 with two RBIs. Myles Straw started in center field and was 1 for 3 with a stolen base and a run scored.
It’s going to be fun watching the battle for those extra outfield positions and some time at DH this Spring. As we can already see it’s going to be one stiff competition and I wouldn’t count out anybody until late into Spring Training.