Astros alter pitching plans due to weather

Astros alter pitching plans due to weather

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- With heavy rains and thunderstorms forecast for Central Florida on Monday, the Astros altered their schedule to make sure starting pitchers Brett Oberholtzer and Jerome Williams -- both originally scheduled to throw against the Braves in Grapefruit League play -- got their work in prior to the weather.

Both pitchers started a Minor League intrasquad game between the team's Double-A and Triple-A affiliates at 9 a.m. ET. Oberholtzer threw 75 pitches in five innings, and Williams threw 75 pitches in six innings.

"The last thing you want in Spring Training is to get your starters backed up and you're trying to find innings as you go along and you can't get an opportunity to get them built up," manager Bo Porter said. "It's been great to have these camp games and allow these guys to stay on turn and get their work in and get built up."

Oberholtzer looked sharp, getting a lot of swings and misses and not allowing a ball to get batted into the outfield.

"I was a little disappointed I couldn't get out there and face the Braves and get that feeling of pitching in a big league game again," he said. "It's been a while, but you know what? The most important thing is I got in my work and stayed focused on the task at hand, and that's making quality pitches when I can."

Williams is competing for a spot in the rotation, though he remains an ideal candidate to be a swing man if he can't crack the starting five.

"There were a couple of games I was leaving the ball up in the zone, and fortunately I was getting outs, but I know during the season they're not going to be outs," he said. "I'm going to get hurt. I'm just trying to work on throwing the ball down in the zone."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for 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.