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Game Thread: Spring Training Game 1, Feb. 23, Houston Astros @ Washington Nationals, 5:35 CST.

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We’ve been waiting a long time for baseball. Today Spring Training games begin. Join the conversation.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Houston Astros Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the first Spring Training Game. The preparation and build-up to another great season of Astros baseball begins today.

A lot of old favorites are gone this year, Charlie Morton, Dallas Keuchel, Marwin Gonzalez, Evan Gattis, Brian McCann and others. And although it has been a relatively quiet hot stove season, we warmly welcome some new faces to the fold, catcher Robinson Chirinos, pitcher Wade Miley, left fielder Michael Brantley, and playing today, utility infielder Aledmys Diaz.

Pitching in today’s game for the Astros is the former 3rd round draft pick, minor leaguer Brady Rodgers. Once a shining star in the Astros system, at 28 years old is now fighting just to stay on the 40 man roster. Although in 2016 Rodgers was named the Astros Minor League Pitcher of the Year, early in 2017 he required elbow surgery, missing the whole year. He managed to come back for the end of the 2018 season, pitching 41 innings for AAA Fresno with a 5.49 ERA. He pitched 8.1 innings for the Astros in 2016.

Opening against Rodgers for the Nats is the redoubtable Max Scherzer.

Below is the lineup for the Astros today

The game is televised out of market on MLB.TV. Tomorrow’s game is televised on the Astros usual network, ATT Sportsnet. We will have a game thread for all in market televised Spring Training Games. Mark on your calendar: Feb 24, 25, 27, 28, March 10, 11, 12, 14, 19 and 20th.

For East Texans you can follow the game on KBME radio 790 AM. The National’s feed on TV is at MASN.

GO STROS!