(BaseballStL)--The Astros come to Jupiter with Jeff Luhnow as their new GM. Luhnow had been the VP of Amateur Scouting before accepting the top job with Houston over the off season. Here's the lineup the Redbirds will throw at the Astros:
1) Rafael Furcal - SS
2) Jon Jay - CF
3) Matt Holliday - LF
4) David Freese - 3B
5) Yadier Molina - DH
6) Alex Cora - 1B
7) Tyler Greene - 2B
8) Tony Cruz - C
9) Shane Robinson - RF
Lance Lynn will take the ball as he begins to stretch out as a starting pitcher while Chris Carpenter is on the mend. Lynn will be followed by the likes of Mitchell Boggs, Scott Linebrink, Eduardo Sanchez and Adam Ottavino.
Storylines to look out for today:
-- How does Lance Lynn look as a starter? When he was a starting pitcher coming out of Ole Miss he was looked at as a bottom-of-the-rotation innings eater and not much more. Lynn's ceiling was not all that high as compared to others such as Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins. But when Lynn was forced into bullpen duty last year his potential seemed to skyrocket. He looked like a dominant late inning reliever that could be a force for a long time. The difference between starting and relieving is really the number of pitches you need. In the 'pen you only need two. Since you're typically only facing guys once in a game that's all you need. When you're a starter you need at least 3, sometimes even 4, pitches because you're facing guys multiple times through the lineup over several innings. So for Lynn...how will those other pitches be after not using them while in the bullpen? Will he still look as dominant as he has or will he look like the innings-eating starter he once was? In the ideal world...Chris Carpenter will come back healthy sooner than later and it won't matter. Lynn will just go back to the bullpen and that question will go away. But as long as Carp is out, Lynn is your official Plan B.
-- Mitchell Boggs was rocked his last time out in spring training and is really continuing the struggles that plagued him at the end of last year. Boggs was given the chance to be the closer as soon as Ryan Franklin faltered in 2011. Boggs lasted just a few weeks before being replaced by Eduardo Sanchez. Is the Boggs whom the Redbirds believed could be a force in the bullpen reemerge or is he just going to be an inconsistent guy who shows flashes every now and then? There's plenty of depth in the bullpen, especially on the right side, to cover for what Boggs can't do so they won't hesitate to replace him if his struggls continue.
-- Tyler Greene starts (again) at 2nd base. Is there any doubt whatsoever that this is just a fake competition and that the coaching staff wants him to play everyday? Descalso and Schumaker have combined for just a handful of starts there this spring while Greene has gotten the vast majority.
-- Tony Cruz gets the start behind the plate as he tries to impress enough to be the the backup catcher to Yadier Molina. Mike Matheny keeps talking about how impressive Bryan Anderson has been this spring so Cruz is going to need to keep pace to have a chance at that job. I still think Cruz is the better fit there. He's more advanced defensively (though he's no star) and proved last year he could be a nice bat off the bench if needed. He gave some excellent ABs in tough situations in 2011.
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