The Houston Astros have made it very clear that nothing is assured, position-wise, going into Spring Training. No player should feel comfortable just because he put up a good 2013.
That being the case, it’s quite clear that the message is being heard mainly from the guys who very few figured to make any impact whatsoever on the big league club. The main contributors to the Astros’ current Spring Training success are guys who many would have bet on not even making it through the first cuts, let alone the opening day roster.
The team MVP thus far is outfielder Marc Krauss, who put up a 2013 that he’d like to forget. His .209 average and lack of any consistent power numbers were feeble to say the least. He has a huge hill to climb if he wants to fight his way into the opening day roster.
However, he’s doing just that. So far this Spring Training, the left-handed hitting Krauss has gone 5-9 with a home run, two RBIs and two doubles. It’s a small sample size, sure, but he is off to the right start.
If Krauss keeps up these numbers, it’ll be near impossible to keep him off the opening day roster. He may even work his way into the everyday lineup.
Robbie Grossman is also off to a fantastic start. Although he was already factoring to be starting in the outfield, he’s off to a 3-5 start with a walk, an RBI and a double. He also hasn’t struck out yet, and we know how much that means to the Astros.
Other names are popping up too, Leo Haras, Ronald Toreyes and future stud Carlos Correa have combined to go 4-10 with a triple, a double and two runs driven in.
Again, these are small sample sizes, but the more pressure these outside guys can put on the proverbial starters, the better that all parties will perform.