3 dark horse candidates for the last spot in the Astros' Opening Day rotation

The Astros have some important decisions to make with their rotation this spring.
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Spencer Arrighetti

Finally, we come to Spencer Arrighetti who has been in call-up and trade conversations seemingly forever. In an Astros farm system that is very light on starting pitching prospects with upside, Arrighetti stands out thanks to his velocity ticking up as a pro and a hard slider/sweeper that has served as an out pitch for him.

For the past two seasons, Arrighetti has established himself as a guy that can rack up the strikeouts, but some questions remain. He walks too many batters, there is a real question as to whether or not he has a third big league pitch, and his results in the minors are pretty meh overall beyond the Ks as he posted his second straight ERA in the mid 4 range last season.

A few things have to go right for Arrighetti to get actual consideration for an Opening Day rotation spot. First and foremost, he has to show up and pitch well including finding the strike zone more. Second, it would be helpful if the Astros committed early to the six man rotation as that just provides an extra spot that he could vie for. Finally, he is a guy that really needs to show that he has an offspeed pitch that can get big league lefty hitters out.

Assuming all of that happens, the only question is whether or not Houston is willing to add him to their 40 man roster not unlike the issues with Gordon. General manager Dana Brown has already gone on the record as saying that the team likes Arrighetti's arm and see him as a future rotation piece which certainly can't hurt his case. If Hunter Brown and/or JP France have rough springs or there are injuries that pop up anywhere in the rotation, all eyes will be on Arrighetti to see if can seize the opportunity.

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