Strong spring has Moylan in Astros' bullpen mix

Strong spring has Moylan in Astros' bullpen mix

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Veteran right-hander Peter Moylan, a non-roster invitee, has quietly put together a strong camp and could be in the mix to land a bullpen spot at the beginning of the season. Entering Saturday, the side-arming righty had allowed three hits and no runs in four innings.

"I'd still like to be a little bit more consistent with being down in the zone and the location of my offspeed pitches," Moylan said. "But the results have been fine. We're still halfway through spring, so I have some room for improvement. Hopefully, I continue to get that consistency. It's been a while since I've felt as I do now, and hopefully, I can carry that into the end of spring and the beginning of the season."

Unlike last year, when the Astros were relying on inexperienced arms for the second half of the season, there is no shortage of veteran relievers in camp -- with Moylan, Chad Qualls, Matt Albers, Darin Downs and Anthony Bass. Then, there are the young guys who got their feet wet last year and are pushing for spots: Josh Zeid, Chia-Jen Lo, Josh Fields and Kevin Chapman.

Moylan knows it won't be easy to crack the club.

"I control what I can control," Moylan said. "If what I do is what they want on their team, I'll be ecstatic. That's my goal since I signed here. I want to break with the club. I can't control the decision, and I can't control what they're going to do. If it happens, I'll be really excited, and if doesn't, I'll be disappointed."

Moylan has a June 1 opt-out clause in his contract for the second year in a row. The Dodgers purchased his contract on May 31 last year, and he pitched in 14 games for the Dodgers around a two-month stint in the Minor Leagues.

"It worked out well for me last year," Moylan said. "I had been throwing the ball well leading up to June 1, and the Dodgers called me up. We'll see what happens."

Moylan entered Saturday's 14-3 loss to Detroit in the sixth inning and allowed two runs on one hit and two walks.

Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.