Some early Tuesday Astros tidbits
Here are a few tidbits gathered pregame from manager Brad Mills prior to today’s 12:10 p.m. Central game against the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie
- Left-hander Wesley Wright, who being changed to a starter this spring, is scheduled to start Saturday against the Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla., in a split-squad game. Wright is scheduled to throw an inning in today’s game against the Mets. Wright will likely begin the season as a starter at Triple-A Round Rock.
- Mills said it’s becoming increasingly more challenging to get innings for pitchers, which his why Polin Trinidad, Evan Englebrook and Jose Valdez are throwing Tuesday in a mini-camp game. Starters are going three innings, and on Wednesday both Wandy Rodriguez and Felipe Paulino will throw three innings.
“It is challenging to get them some innings especially now when we start having our starters go second time around,” Mills said. “They started three and four innings depending on how their pitching and it really makes it tough. That’s why it’s so nice to send some guys down there [to Minor League camp] to get some innings in.”
- Right-hander Brandon Lyon, who’s yet to face hitters this spring after having a cyst drained in his shoulder a few weeks ago, will throw another bullpen session Wednesday. If all goes well, he could throw live batting practice on Friday and perhaps pitch in a Minor League game shortly after.
- When asked Tuesday what he’s looking for in the fifth outfielder, Mills had this to day: “You really need somebody that can run. They need to add something, like a pinch-hitter or be able to run They really need to be able to complement the rest of the lineup, but the same time we don’t want to kill those [the starters] either. If we have somebody who move all around and play all three positions, that’s great.”
- Mills expects to be aggressive on the bases and said Michael Bourn will have permission to steal second any time he wants to go in the regular season. Bourn led the National League last year with 61 stolen bases. “He’s got the green light to go any time,” Mills said.