The Astros through Two Spring games: What (if anything) to take away from their performances

All right, all right. So it may be too early to get a read on much of anything from the Astros so far, but I couldn't resist. Here are some things that I've taken away from the first two spring training games:

The Good:

  • Roy Oswalt, Russ Ortiz, Mike Hampton and Brandon Backe all pitched well. Oswalt gave up a 2 run homer to David Ross today, but that was in between collecting four strikeouts in 3 innings of work. Hampton avoided some early mistakes to pitch scoreless ball.
  • Chris Johnson has gone 3/4 in two games with a home run and a double. He has played errorless ball at third base, displaying a great arm. Hopefully it can stay as accurate as it looked, since that has been a small knock on him in the minors
  • No Astro pitchers that seem to have a legitimate chance to make the team this season have given up any earned runs
  • Cecil Cooper has said that he is going to give youngsters like Johnson, Brian Bogusevic and Drew Sutton a real chance this spring to show that they got. Sutton will even be given opportunities at shortstop.

Now, the bad:

  • Edwin Maysonet had an error in today's game on an easy grounder to short. He's in a battle with a handful of guys to make the major league roster. When you know there are veterans breathing down your neck, as well as two other talented prospects (Sutton and Manzella) who are choices as well, it's best not to goof up on the kind of ground balls that are hit to you in batting practice
  • Sergio Perez wasn't able to record an out today in giving up a five run lead to the Braves. After pitching fairly well this fall in Arizona, it's a small step backwards in this player's development
  • With the emergence (I don't even know if you can call it that, but oh well) of Chris Johnson, it seems like his path to the majors will be blocked, not by anyone special but by a Geoff Blum/Aaron Boone platoon. Nobody projects him as being ready just yet, but it would be tempting to see what he could do. Yes, we saw last year what bringing up a player too early can do to his confidence (JR Towles), but their situations while similar, are not exactly identical.

Regardless, I'm just glad to see the Astros play...even if it was in losing fashion.


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