Astros notes: Rotation tweaks, Barmes’ hand, and what they’re Tweeting

The Astros are down to less than a week’s worth of Spring Training
games, and with that comes some mild tweaking of the pitching staff.

Brett Myers will start in a Minor League game on Saturday rather
than face the Nationals on the Major League side. The logic behind Brad
Mills’ thinking is the same he has for why he’s starting J.A. Happ
on Tuesday in Oklahoma City instead of on Monday against the Phillies:
no need to show the opponent too much of what they’ll see in the
not-too-distant future.

Happ’s first regular-season start will arrive on Sunday, April 3 in
Philadelphia, whom the Astros are also playing on Monday in Clearwater.
The Phillies are already familiar enough with Happ’s work. No need to
show them everything he has a few days before they see him again — when
the games actually matter.

Myers has faced the Nationals once this spring already and will probably
see them again at some point during the season. The starting pitchers
have long shaken off the offseason rust and are looking now like they
might look a month from now. So protecting them this time of the spring
isn’t a terrible idea.

“I know there’s a good chance he’ll face (the Nationals) twice during
the season,” manager Brad Mills said of Myers. “Do we want to expose him
that much during the spring? That’s kind of what we’re looking at.”

So while the regular season rotation will be Myers, Wandy, Happ, Norris
and Figueroa, the rotation for the final five games of the exhibition
season will be Henry Villar, Wandy, Norris, Happ and Figueroa.


The Astros will collectively hold their breath and cross their fingers and any other cliched trick as they await the results of x-rays that will be taken on Clint Barmes’ left hand Saturday morning.

Barmes was hit by a pitch during the Astros’ game with the Yankees in Tampa on Friday and while he felt “sore, but promising” after his exit, he’s hoping the hand is just deeply bruised, and not broken.

“It hit me pretty square,” Barmes said. As soon as he got to first base, he felt the hand swell and immediately went to the training room to ice it.

Stay tuned.


From the Astros Twitter files: 

Hoping Duke’s loss was all a figment of imagination:

@CJAstros23 Please tell me I was dreaming last night and duke didn’t get smoked by 20??? Someone please lie to me

One teammate admiring another’s athleticism…

@hunterpence9 If you don’t think pitchers are athlete’s check out @hyphen18 core routine… #CrazyAussie

…and that teammate’s response:

@hyphen18 It’s my ‘7 minute abs routine’

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