Is this thing on? Testin’ out the new blog setup
We’re up an running (hopefully) with our brand new blog software, and, if all goes well, we’ll have a lot more freedom with our content and how we post it. The new setup appears to be a lot more user-friendly, so let’s test it out. Here’s what I wanted to post last night but couldn’t (with a few updates):
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 started 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 against the Phillies, 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 held their breath, crossed their fingers and probably did a few other bad-luck busting rituals I don’t know about as they awaited the results of x-rays taken on Clint Barmes‘ left hand Saturday morning, but unfortunately, nothing worked.
Barmes, who was hit by a pitch during the Astros’ loss to the Yankees Thursday night, will miss four to six weeks with a non-displaced fracture of a bone on his left hand, near the little finger.
Immediately after coming out of the game, Barmes said he felt “sore, but promising” and expressed a hope that the hand was just deeply bruised, but not broken. X-ray results the next morning told a different story.
Not surprisingly, Tommy Manzella was brought back over from Minor League camp to finish out Spring Training on the big league side. As far as who will replace Barmes at shortstop, Angel Sanchez probably has the inside track at this point. Also in the mix are Manzella, Matt Downs, Oswaldo Navarro and Anderson Hernandez.
On Thursday, the Astros unveiled to the media and VIP guests Minute Maid Park’s new state-of-the-art high-definition scoreboard in right field. The scoreboard is 54 feet high and 124 feet wide, along with ribbon boards. It’s the largest video board in the Major Leagues to feature a 1080i display format.
Finally, what they’re saying on Twitter:
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’