KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Right-hander Mark Melancon appears to have a good shot at making the Opening Day roster, having allowed one earned run and three walks in six innings, which includes a scoreless frame against the Cardinals on Saturday.
"At the end of Spring Training and if things fall into place, whatever I've done, that's where I deserve to be," said Melancon, who went 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in 20 games after being traded to the Astros from the Yankees in the Lance Berkman deal.
Melancon has been working on a cutter this spring and said catcher Humberto Quintero has shown a lot of confidence in the pitch. He wouldn't yet be comfortable using the pitch in a regular-season game, but thinks it could be a valuable weapon to cut in to left-handers.
"I still want to keep the same approach of fastball, with the curveball as an out pitch, and use my changeup in there," he said. "As a reliever, sometimes it's hard to work all the pitches, but there's certain situations when throwing a cutter is the right time. I'm going to have to locate it consistently and throw it some more to start to feel really comfortable."