4 former Astros players shining in spring training to the frustration of fans

Some former Astros are really showing out this spring.

Sep 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Teoscar Hernandez (35) hits a two run
Sep 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Teoscar Hernandez (35) hits a two run / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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So far, the Houston Astros have been pretty fortunate to retain most of the core that helped begin this run of seven straight playoff appearances. More than anything, that speaks to how good of a job the franchise has done to develop their own young players and keep improving the roster year after year.

Sadly, Houston hasn't been able to keep everyone, and there are a lot of reasons for that. Some guys simply got too expensive for the Astros keep while maintaining a balanced roster, others thought they could find greener pastures elsewhere, and some players the team just ... decided to move on from, due to age/performance/injuries/etc.

The goal here is to look at how some of these former Astros are thriving this spring. This won't just be a look at the guys that left the team since last year, but instead looking further back at some names that will be familiar to Astros fans from years past.

Phil Maton

One of the losses the Astros experienced this past offseason that hasn't gotten enough attention was when reliever Phil Maton hit free agency. Maton wasn't throwing in the highest leverage situations, but he was a lock for 65+ quality appearances in those sixth/seventh inning scenarios, and was one of the best in the league at bridging the gap to the late inning guys. Unfortunately, Maton did find a deal to his liking elsewhere, as the 30-year-old reliever inked a one-year deal with the Rays.

Maton has done little this spring to make the Astros regret losing him any less. He has only made three appearances, but he has yet to give up an earned run and has five strikeouts against just one walk. Given the questions that Houston has with their bullpen at the moment, they could end up really missing Maton in 2024.