HOUSTON -- Marwin Gonzalez was just hoping to make a good enough impression to make the club, never mind starting at shortstop on Opening Day. Gonzalez, acquired from Boston during the Rule 5 Draft in December, started in place of Jed Lowrie, who will start the year on the disabled list.
"I'm pretty happy," Gonzalez said. "It's like living my dream. I want to do the best I can for the team and stay with the team as long as I can."
Because he's a Rule 5 pick, the switch-hitting Gonzalez must remain on the 25-man roster the entire season or be offered back to his former club. Astros manager Brad Mills has raved about Gonzalez's defense, and he hit .274 in 60 games last year at Triple-A Iowa of the Cubs organization.
Gonzalez, a native of Venezuela, has plenty of people rooting for him in his homeland.
"Yeah, all my family and friends and the people back home are really happy right now and they were texting me [Thursday] about today and asking if I was going to start or not," Gonzalez said. "I told them I didn't know, but I'm happy I am."