Astros’ prospect sinks Jays
DUNEDIN, Fla.—Houston outfield prospect George Springer impressed during his first start in two big-league spring training camps.
Springer hit a three-run homer off Jeremy Jeffress in the fourth inning and a two-run drive against Claudio Vargas in the fifth, helping the Astros roll over the Toronto Blue Jays 10-1 yesterday.
“We beat a great Toronto team today that’s an outstanding lineup over there,” he noted.
“But as a team, we swung the bat well and, obviously, threw the ball well.”
The rebuilding Astros—29th among the 30 big-league teams in batting average last year—had 18 hits, including two each by Springer, J.D. Martinez, Matt Dominguez, and Carlos Corporan.
Astros’ starter Alex White allowed one hit in two scoreless innings in his spring training debut.
White, taken by Cleveland with the 15th pick of the 2009 draft, was obtained from Colorado during the off-season for right-hander Wilton Lopez.
White was 2-9 with a 5.51 ERA for the Rockies last season.
“Our system would tell us that he is better,” Astros’ manager Bo Porter said.
“A lot of times when a player goes from Cleveland to Colorado, there are some aspects of their report that you probably just want to throw out,” he noted.
“You look at the stuff and you say to yourself that I believe this stuff would play better in our ballpark.
“It’s a big arm,” Porter added. “We believe that his best years of baseball are definitely ahead of him.”
Houston chased starter Brad Lincoln two outs into his spring training debut. The right-hander faced six batters, allowing four runs on a single, two doubles, and a walk.
Blue Jays’ lead-off batter Jose Reyes raised his spring batting average to .625 with three singles.
J.P. Arencibia homered in the third off Wesley Wright.
But Melky Cabrera, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion—three of the top four hitters in Toronto’s starting batting order—went a combined 1-for-9, with a single by Cabrera.
“Everybody’s expecting us to be automatic, but you look around the league,” said Jays manager John Gibbons.
“There’s a lot of teams out there that can win this thing.
“You have teams that have been through it and they expect to win,” he remarked. “They’re used to winning, and those guys got the advantage there.
“But we still haven’t done anything with so many new guys,” Gibbons stressed.
“You hope it comes together, but you never really know for sure.”