Spring training stats can be misleading. Jeff Bagwell famously never hit well in the spring and that sometimes bled over into a slow April. But, at the end of every season, he was hitting home runs and getting on base just like always.
There are plenty of reasons not to overreact to spring stats, but that doesn't mean we can't be disappointed in how certain guys performed. While the easy guy to label here is George Springer, for his anemic batting line and his demotion to the minors, there's another Astros who proved just as disappointing.
Last winter, Brett Oberholtzer was named the Astros pitcher of the year after posting a 2.76 ERA in 71 innings over 10 starts and three relief appearances. That included a 4-5 record, 45 strikeouts and 13 walks. His numbers didn't quite match up to what his peripherals said he'd do and he was helped out by a .260 batting average on balls in play (which is lower than average).
This spring, Oberholtzer was quickly given a spot in the Opening Series rotation, alongside Scott Feldman and Jarred Cosart. Trouble was, he didn't perform very well this spring. In nine innings, Oberholtzer allowed 16 hits, 12 runs (11 earned) while only striking out six and walking two. He also gave up three home runs after giving up seven in 71 innings last season.
As I said, it's hard to get too worked up about that poor performance. After all, he only threw nine innings in Grapefruit League play. That also didn't count the six shutout innings he tossed against Veracruz on Saturday in Houston, when he gave up two hits and no walks while striking out two.
The disappointing this is that for Houston to take a step forward as a team in 2014, it needs young players to take a step forward. Guys like Oberholtzer seemed primed to do just that. He had success last season, had some small prospect sheen left and could concievably carve out room in this rotation at the back end as a rich man's Dallas Keuchel.
He can still do that this season. It just would have been nice to see signs of that during the spring.
Who had your most disappointing spring performance? Was there anyone who didn't meet your expectations?