The remaining decisions for the Houston Astros are dwindling with each passing day at Spring Training — the opening rotation is another question answered.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch named the five pitchers that will start 2017 with Dallas Keuchel making his third Opening Day starter, Lance McCullers, Charlie Morton, Joe Musgrove, and Mike Fiers will make the first five starts for the Astros. Musgrove will pitch in game four and Fiers in game five.
Hinch hasn’t decided yet if McCullers or Morton will start in game two or three, reports Houston Chronicle’s Jake Kaplan.
Joe Musgrove will start the fourth game of regular season, A.J. Hinch said. Mike Fiers will start the fifth game.— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) March 26, 2017
McCullers, 23, has been impressive in his first two seasons in the major leagues, but he has struggled to stay healthy during that time. McCullers was 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in four starts this spring.
Morton, 33, was one of the Astros’ key additions this offseason. He is looking to bounce back after suffering a torn left hamstring last season. Morton was 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA in five starts during Spring Training.
Fiers, 31, is the remaining piece of the arguably Jeff Luhnow's biggest during his tenure with the Astros. Fiers was 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA in three springs starts.
The surprise addition, of course, is Musgrove. Musgrove pitched 62 innings last season with the Astros in his rookie season. But Musgrove is needed because Collin McHugh is building his arm back up after a case of “dead arm”.
MLB.com’s Brian McTaggert spoke with A.J. Hinch, who said McHugh will not be ready in time for the opening series.
Hinch on McHugh: "I'm anticipating him not being ready for the season." https://t.co/VuDNLlt8bq— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 26, 2017