Rotation battle whittled to four
Astros manager Brad Mills identified four candidates Tuesday morning who remain in the mix for the team’s final two spots in the starting pitching rotation: right-handers Kyle Weiland, Jordan Lyles and Livan Hernandez and left-hander Zach Duke. The team isn’t saying it, but Hernandez appears to be a lock, leaving Weiland, Lyles and Duke for the final spot.
Mills said right-handers Lucas Harrell and Henry Sosa are being looked at in bullpen roles.
“Because they haven’t been getting the [starts], I don’t know if you can put them in the mix right now over those other four guys,” Mills said. “If they were to show something and light our eyes they might throw themselves back into that mix, but we’re looking at spots in the bullpen as well. Or if they do something we feel would warrant them to get back into the mix, then we’ll put them right back into the mix.”
Mills expects nothing to be decided until end of camp.
“The way we’re going about it is allowing us to look at them almost to the end of camp,” he said. “There’s no doubt we’ve already seen quite a bit from those guys and we’re forming opinions as we move forward because we’ve been able to see quite a bit of them. We want it to go as long as possible so we can have as much information to make the best decision.”
— CF Jordan Schafer, who sprained his left wrist two days ago, feels better, Mills said. He’s still several days away from getting back to action.
— C Humberto Quintero will catch the second half of today’s game against the Cardinals, following Chris Snyder.
— RHP David Carpenter and Fernando Rodriguez will pitch in a Minor League game today.
— Infield Joe Thurston made his first start of the spring against the Cardinals at second base. He was also scheduled to start in the morning B game, also at second base.
Here is the Astros’ lineup for Tuesday’s 12:05 p.m. CT game against the Cardinals, which can be seen on FS Houston and heard on 790 AM.
CF Jason Bourgeois
SS Jed Lowrie
RF Brian Bogusevic
1B Carlos Lee
DH Jack Cust
3B Chris Johnson
LF Justin Ruggiano
C Chris Snyder
2B Joe Thurston
RHP Jordan Lyles