For all practical purposes, spring training is over for the Astros. Just one week from the real season opener and fans are scratching their heads rather than licking their chops.
So much for heading into the season with some momentum. Instead, seems like a lull of a stall.
By the way, congrats to Tony Robichaux and the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, ranked #1 — yes, ranked #1, not LSU — in this week’s Collegiate Baseball poll.
Meanwhile, here are a few (ahem) highlights of the Astros’ spring training.
- There are a few — if not several — to be sure. Still, first base was Jonathan Singleton‘s to take and he fizzled. He hasn’t looked like the #4 prospect in the organization in quite some time. Honorable mention: Matt Dominguez.
Breath of fresh air.
- Not sure you can count these as surprises, but Marwin Gonzalez and Robbie Grossman were fun to follow in an otherwise ho-hum spring. Honorable mention: Josh Fields (has anyone noticed?).
Holding my breath.
- Obviously, the Astros aren’t concerned since they’ve offered him a nice contract extension, but Dominguez needs to get his game together quickly. A .175 average and no run production won’t do a lot to breed confidence among fans. Then, again, it’s only spring, right? Honorable mention: L.J. Hoes, Jesus Guzman.
- With Brett Wallace and J.D. Martinez now wearing new uniforms, it’s time to nominate some new goners. The floor is open.
- If you’ve followed me for long, you know I’m a Dallas Keuchel fan. As much as anyone on the roster, he’ll be here in September. Honorable mention: Alex White.
Put up or shut up!
- Jerome Williams has the salary ($2.1 million), but he’ll need to make his case quickly. Otherwise, any number of pitchers will be knocking on his door. Honorable mention: Rudy Owens.
Yes, there’s hope.
- It’s impossible to throw a dart at the Oklahoma City, Corpus Christi or Lancaster rosters and not hit a solid prospect. The question is how many will make a debut this season in Houston. The line is long, your top four nominations please?
Tell me I’m wrong:
- The OKC outfield (George Springer, Austin Wates, Domingo Santana) may be better top to bottom than the Houston OF (Dexter Fowler, Robbie Grossman, Hoes).
- With all the rancor created in the media and blogs, the Astros and Springer will agree on a contract this year that will buy out some of the #1 pick’s arbitration years.
- Catcher may be the strongest/deepest position on the current Astros’ 25-man roster.
- Dominguez started more games (149) at his position (3B) than any other starter (at their position) in 2013. This season, that will be Dexter Fowler.
- Carlos Correa may take Lancaster, Corpus Christi and OKC by storm and could be in Luhnow’s office come September talking contract.
Quote of the day: “The Cubs last won in 1908. They’re now in their second century of rebuilding.” — George Will, a Cubs’ fan.