The latest news around the Astros and baseball on February 24th, including a note about some impressive players early in camp.
Keep an eye on the young arms
Much has been made about the Astros losing 60 percent of the 2018 rotation, but the club has some intriguing arms stashed in the minors. One, for example, is Rogelio Armenteros, who allowed only one run on four hits Sunday against the Mets. Top prospect J.B. Bukauskas held New York scoreless over two innings in the same game. Brady Rodgers looked good in his first start of Spring Training against the Nationals on Saturday, limiting Washington to just one run in two innings. While Framber Valdez looked shaky on Sunday against the Braves, the Astros could reasonably lean on their young arms, including Josh James and Forrest Whitley, for the fifth starter role and not see much of a drop-off in 2019.
Spring Training stats don’t mean much
As noted here by Alyson Footer of MLB.com, the Astros don’t place much emphasis on Spring Training stats. Instead, the club may have pitchers experiment with different types of pitches or something to work on during their appearances. If that pitcher happens to give up a few hits or runs, then it doesn’t necessarily mean that they performed poorly.
Myles Straw dives his way into the outfield discussion
While the Astros’ outfield seems a bit crowded at the moment, Straw made sure we didn’t forget about him with an incredible diving catch here to rob Tim Tebow of a base hit. At this point, it is unclear if Straw can overtake Jake Marisnick or Tony Kemp for a spot on the Opening Day roster, but he may be on the short list for a promotion if the opportunity arises.
Astros Stat of the Day
Through the 2018 season, the Astros have won 31 games against the A’s when playing at home. On the flip side, Houston has lost 31 games to the A’s when playing in Oakland. In all, both teams have played 120 total games against each other, with an exact 60-60 win-loss record. Only 31 days ’til the Astros start their season in Tampa against the Rays on March 28th.