The Houston Astros are halfway through the schedule of their Spring Training games. Let’s take a look at where they are at this point.
The regular season begins 18 days from today in Tampa Bay, Florida. The Astros have 16 Spring Training games behind them and 17 games ahead of them. At the midway point, we’ve seen a few health issues with a few players. Let’s review where they are as the regular season lineup is beginning to take shape and they progress nearer to the 25-man roster.
As can be expected this time of the year, a few players are experiencing some aches and pains as they get use to the everyday routine of workouts and games. A. J. Hinch has been cautious with his veterans, easing them into the games and increasing their playing time slowly, especially those that had offseason surgeries.
Jose Altuve is one of those aforementioned players, coming back following knee surgery. He’s played in five games to date, but has sat out the last couple of games and is likely to miss a few more. Altuve is experiencing some soreness in his left side and he has been deemed as day-to-day.
Josh James is still trying to work through the quad strain he sustained early in Spring Training. He began playing catch and running on an agility field last week and threw his second bullpen session Saturday. Hinch feels James will be ready by opening day, but has expressed due to the setback he would be starting out in the bullpen and is currently out of the running for the 5th spot in the rotation.
Carlos Correa has been playing pain-free, absent the discomfort he felt in his back most of last season. He has seen the result with an increase in the exit velocity of the ball off of his bat this Spring.
"“That made me feel good about where my body’s at right now and where my swing’s at,” Correa said. “It just feels great to be able to put the barrel on the baseball, and my back feels great.”"
There have been a few other dents and dings in the lineup, but nothing serious enough to warrant any significant missed playing time. Alex Bregman, who is coming along fine after his elbow surgery, exited a game early last week due to back stiffness and Josh Reddick got hit by a pitch on his right hand, but both players have been in the lineup since with no lingering effects.
The Astros experienced more than their share of injuries and health issues last season and still won a record 103 games. It’s downright scary what they are capable of with a healthy lineup.