The Astros have a tough matchup on their hands today as they continue to tune up for the 2020 season, facing off against a Miami team that has dominated their competition thus far in Grapefruit League action. Leading the way for the Astros will be #2 starter Zack Greinke, making his second consecutive appearance against the Marlins.
Following Greinke will be a group of arms who all hope to crack the club’s opening day roster, headlined by Austin Pruitt, who is still locked in a battle with Josh James and others for the #5 starter slot. Following Pruitt will be relievers Roberto Osuna, Blake Taylor, Chris Devenski and Ryan Pressly. While Osuna and Pressly have jobs sewn up and are merely tuning up at this point, Taylor is fighting to establish himself as one of the go-to left handed options out of the bullpen and Devenski is out to prove that he can regain his past form.
Supporting that group of pitchers will be a lineup that, one through five, looks a lot like what the Astros trotted out for much of the 2019 season:
Towards the bottom of today’s lineup are a couple of players with something to prove in spring- Dustin Garneau is fighting for the backup catcher role out of camp, while Chas McCormick will look to continue his impressive spring and position himself for a major league bench role over the summer. McCormick’s versatility and polished game give him a good opportunity to do just that, and it appears his momentum from 2019 has carried over into the new year.
In other Astros news, Brad Peacock is slated to throw off of a mound later today, the first time he will have done so this spring. Peacock continues to struggle with injuries and his status is currently very much up in the year, so hopefully he’s able to throw without issue today and get on track to be ready for regular season action. This year’s pitching staff is a bit thinner than the last few, and if Peacock isn’t ready to go in April, early season contributions from Houston’s less experienced arms will be important.