White makes his case for rotation spot

Alex White perhaps moved a step closer to clinching a spot in the Astros’ rotation with the roster moves Wednesday that saw Jordan Lyles and John Ely – both of whom were vying for the starting rotation – being optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

White stated his latest case Wednesday against the Mets, allowing seven hits and three runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Mets. White says he feels good about where he’s at, but knows he still has to pitch and get outs.

“We have a week and a half left and still some competition left,” White said.

White has been working on a sinker this spring and didn’t throw it much Wednesday, though he did get a couple of key outs with it.

“The breaking ball was so-so today, not real good, kind of pulling it a little bit,” he said. “Other than that, everything was good.”

Last year, White was trying to make the Rockies rotation in spring before being moved to the bullpen the final two weeks of camp. He was optioned to Minor League camp on the final day of spring and had to get built back up to be a starter in Triple-A.

White, acquired in December from the Rockies, went 2-9 with a 5.51 ERA in 23 games (20 starts) with the Rockies, but he pitched well in the second half. He was 0-1 with a 4.03 ERA in his final seven starts of the season.

“I didn’t get quite as many innings last year,” said White, who’s thrown 14 2/3 innings this spring. “Spring, for me, is about getting my arm ready. It takes me a whole spring to get ready for the season. This year is a little different because I know I’m competing for a spot, and I came in a lot fresher. I feel good, I feel ready for the season.”

White threw 68 pitches against the Mets and said he hopes to be at 90-95 by next week.

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