Starters rest for final exhibition game

Starters rest for final exhibition game

HOUSTON -- For the players who will take the field against the Yankees on Tuesday, Saturday's exhibition game was their final work before Opening Day.

Manager Bo Porter said most of the guys playing against the Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz on Sunday aren't on the 25-man roster, with the regulars getting two full days off before New York comes to town.

"It's pretty set," Porter said of the roster. "Most of the guys that aren't playing [Sunday], the reason they're not playing today is they're on the team. [Carlos] Corporan is catching, just because he's our backup catcher and I want to make sure he's ready to go."

Saturday's starting nine could easily be a regular lineup for Houston, as newcomer Dexter Fowler complemented established starters such as Jason Castro, Jose Altuve and Matt Dominguez.
They didn't leave a strong final impression, as Veracruz starter Tomas Solis shut them down through three innings. Fowler did add a home run in the fourth, but Astros regulars managed just three hits in four innings against the Mexican League Triple-A affiliate.

Porter said he's not concerned about that performance, instead preferring to emphasize health over reps at this point in the spring.

"I'm excited about getting through the spring mostly healthy," Porter said. "As long as nobody slips on a banana peel between now and Tuesday, we'll be good."

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