The Houston Astros have been having a pretty good Spring Training considering they lost 107 games last season. The team is excited and they’re playing hard. Yesterday, the Astros cut ten players off of their Spring Training roster to reduce its size down to 39 men. The Astros optioned outfielders Robbie Grossman and Jimmy Paredes, shortstop Jonathan Villar, and pitchers Paul Clemens and Dallas Keuchel to Minor League camp. The Astros also reassigned outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin, catcher Carlos Perez and pitchers C.J. Fick, Josh Zeid and Sergio Escalona to Minor League camp yesterday.
As with every year around this time, Spring Training is winding down and teams are looking forward to the regular season. The Astros needed to make these moves. The team must get their roster down to 25 men before Opening Night on March 31 against the Texas Rangers.
As I said earlier, the Astros are having a pretty good Spring Training, but it is just practice. Up to this point in the spring, I have a couple players for Astros fans to keep an eye on. Even the casual Astros fans know about Jose Altuve and Lucas Harrell. These two players have really surprised me so far this spring, and I am interested in seeing if they can make and keep their good streaks going.
First off, Phil Humber has had a really good spring for the Astros thus far. Yes, I know he is in a Chicago White Sox uniform in the picture, but he is looking like a decent pitcher for the Astros so far. I think Humber is a sure lock for the rotation. If you remember, I didn’t think Humber could make the rotation out of Spring Training for the Astros, but he definitely has in my book.
When your boss tweets about you, you have to know you’re doing a good job. After Humber’s last outing where he went five scoreless innings, Houston Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow expressed what he thought about Humber through Twitter. The outing before Humber’s latest five scoreless inning effort, he threw four scoreless innings.
The last player Astros fans need to have their radar on is Brandon Laird. Laird has had a really good spring for the Astros so far. I am not certain where Laird fits into the Astros first base or third base situation, but there is no way Laird CAN’T make the team. At least in my opinion that is the case.
Laird has been absolutely crushing the ball the for the Astros so far. Fans got to see what Laird could do late last season, but it was nothing like this. Laird, last season, showed signs of being a good hitter. So far this year, he has been showing that at just about ever opportunity he has been handed.
Yes, it is just Spring Training, but I believe these two guys may have locked up a spot on the Astros when the time comes. I don’t believe Laird will be starter, but must certainly make the team. You just can’t leave him off. We’ll have to see how the rest of Spring Training plays out, but you can definitely put Humber down on your Opening Day roster. If I were you, I’d throw Laird on there too.