The Astros have been a team of streaks this spring and they are currently on their second long losing skid of Grapefruit competition. On Tuesday, a pair of homers made the decision as the New York Mets edged Houston, 2-1, at TBPOTPB. The new spring home hasn't been the best on results. The Astros are 1-5-1 as the home team through Tuesday.
Musgrove: Breaking through the logjam
(c) Houston Chronicle
Yoenis Cespedes drilled a two-run homer off Lance McCullers in the third inning. Brian McCann responded with a solo shot to right in the fourth off Jacob deGrom. But that was all the scoring for the afternoon, leaving the Astros on the short end yet again.
McCullers fanned six over three innings of work. Michael Feliz tossed two shutout innings of relief.
Joe Musgrove will try to break the hex on Wednesday when he starts against the Washington Nationals at TBPOTPB. Through eight spring innings, Musgrove is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA. He's one of the few who have actually won a job in camp this spring, continuing after a strong late-season showing with the parent club.
Manager A.J. Hinch revealed to Brian McTaggart of Astros.com on Monday that the ballclub will start the year with 13 pitchers and 12 non-pitchers. That means the Opening Day roster, barring injury, is practically set.
The Astros already have 12 veterans under contract for the batting order - catchers McCann and Evan Gattis, infielders Yulieski Gurriel, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and Marwin Gonzalez with outfielders Nori Aoki, Carlos Beltran, Jake Marisnick, Josh Reddick and George Springer.
Hinch will begin the year with a rotation of Dallas Keuchel, McCullers, Collin McHugh, Musgrove and Charlie Morton with Mike Fiers and Chris Devenski in swing mode. Ken Giles, Luke Gregerson, Will Harris, and Tony Sipp will anchor the late innings and the remaining two spots are being fought between Feliz, Jandel Gustave and James Hoyt. Feliz beat out Hoyt for the final roster spot last April.
Sadly, that means a lot of red-hot hitters this spring have only spots in Fresno to play for at the moment but batters like A.J. Reed, Colin Moran, Tony Kemp and Teoscar Hernandez are leaving positive impressions for when their time could come.
- Bob Hulsey