The outcomes of Spring Training games have little meaning. A team’s Spring Training performance has little value in predicting regular season success. But there are little stories embedded in the games that do have meaning, and for the Astros this year one of the questions that Spring Training might answer is, who will replace George Springer and how well will he do it.
One game doesn’t answer the question, but Astros fans can take some solace in the performance of Myles Straw in yesterday’s six to one loss, 2 for 2, and nifty in the field. We know he won’t replace Springer’s power numbers, but if he can just get on base, Straw could be a real weapon. Let’s hope for more game s like yesterday's from the heir apparent.
Another back story is who might be the sixth, seventh, eighth starter this year since five won't be enough. Brandon Bielak did not look like one of them yesterday, allowing four runs in two innings, looking way too much like the guy who lost a roster spot last year after a hot start.
Oh well. Another thing about Spring Training is guys often try to perfect new things, so you can’t take failures like that too seriously.
Today the Astros send Nivaldo Rodriguez to the mound against the Nationals’ Austin Voth. Rodriguez sipped the tea last year, pitching five innings for the injury-decimated staff, with a 3.60 ERA. Another candidate perhaps for that eighth, ninth, whatever starter’s spot if that should be needed.
Another outfield contender, Steven Souza, gets his second start today, and 2019 first-round draft pick Corey Lee gets his Spring Training debut.
Game time is 12:05 CST. No TV, but radio on KBME 790 AM and 94.5 FM HD-2.