Monday, March 27, 2017

Astros Spring Training: Who are the Winners?

Although there are still three games left in the Astros Grapefruit league season, followed by two Exhibition Games back in Houston prior to the official start of the season, we can already declare several Spring Training winners.

Joe Musgrove - June 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

RHP Joe Musgrove
Although Musgrove wasn't a total lock to break camp with the Astros, his chances were still very good. All he had to do was give the Astros a reason to say "yes." He did that in spades with a fine Spring. In six starts, he is 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.045 WHIP, allowing six walks to 15 strikeouts in 22 innings of work.

RHP Brad Peacock
On the other side of the coin, Peacock was working against long odds to make the Opening Day 25-man roster. The journeyman pitcher was the beneficiary of Collin McHugh's arm troubles (and the fact that he has no options left). His Spring was less than stellar, but his 4.91 ERA and 1.364 WHIP in eight appearances (three starts) was enough to give him a leg up as the long man. He'll have to make an impression quickly, though, since McHugh will likely make it back to Houston sooner rather than later.

RHP Michael Feliz
Nobody is really talking about Feliz right now which is actually a good thing. That means he's doing his job. Because of his strong Spring (2.61 ERA, 1.065 WHIP, .211 AVG in 9 appearances), he was never mentioned as being on the bubble and became an early lock.

RHP Jandel Gustave and RHP James Hoyt
Although one of these pitchers is going to be the odd man out come Opening Day, they have each been able to establish themselves as solid bullpen options. No matter which of these players gets sent to Fresno to start the season, he will know that his name will be the first one called when the need arises. Although Gustave's Spring numbers have been better overall (2.08 ERA, 0.808 WHIP, .107 AVG), Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports that Hoyt (3.38 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, .281 AVG) may have a leg up because of his ability to get lefties out (since there is a dearth of lefties in the Astros bullpen).

J.D. Davis - April 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

3B J.D. Davis and OF Derek Fisher
Although neither Davis nor Fisher will be in Houston on Opening Day, they each impressed the front office enough to be included in the contingent that will participate in the Minute Maid Park Exhibition games later this week. Davis (.341/.404/.463 in 23 games) and Fisher (.294/.405/.471 with 10 stolen bases in 23 games) are officially on A.J. Hinch's radar and that should prove to be a good thing for them moving forward.

3B Colin Moran and 1B A.J. Reed
It was a long shot for either of these players to make the Opening Day roster, but they both established themselves as viable alternatives (and potential trade pieces?) with their strong Springs. Moran hit .389/.439/.611 in 19 games before being re-assigned to minor league camp while Reed compiled a .306/.444/.667 batting line in 21 games.

RHP Mike Hauschild
Since being picked up from the Astros by the Rangers in the Rule 5 Draft this past December, Hauschild has been vying for a rotation spot with that team. In seven appearances (three starts), he has a 3.12 ERA, a 1.154 WHIP and a .234 AVG. He could very well break camp with the Rangers and, even if he doesn't, he has managed to establish that he can hang with the big boys.


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    1. Thanks so much!!! That means more than you know.