If you have followed the Houston Astros for any length of time, you will recognize the names Morgan Ensberg and Adam Everett. They made up the left side of the infield the last time the Astros were in the World Series. Now they find themselves as young retired players trying their hand at coaching in the Astros minor league system. This spring marks their first time as minor league coaches helping out the big league camp.
What about the game though? It’s a great idea. Manager Bo Porter said that there will be two teams: Team Ensberg and Team Everett. There will be what must be a playground style draft in the morning followed by a quick five or six inning game on the field the Astros will be playing on soon during the Grapefruit League. There are several reasons why this is a great idea. I’ll touch on a few.
First of all it will be a fun way to get everyone accustomed to the field and backdrop. Also it will be a great competitive way of taking a look at the players in relaxed action. The best part is the pitching machine. The pitchers aren’t going to be throwing from the mound. They’ll be standing there but the pitches will come from a machine.
In a camp where most of the batting practice for all teams is anything straight and fast, a breaking ball pitching machine is like the ugly duckling. That is exactly what the batters will be facing in the Ensberg vs Everett game; a breaking ball pitching machine. All five innings will see only breaking balls. That is a great and wonderful idea. I love it! I’d love to see those guys try to stay back on that breaking stuff after a week of regular BP.