Lineup finalized for opener against Phillies
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros manager Bo Porter unveiled his lineup for Saturday's Grapefruit League opener at 12:05 p.m. CT on MLB.TV against the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla.
With catcher Jason Castro, second baseman Jose Altuve and left-handed hitters Carlos Pena, Brett Wallace, Rick Ankiel and Fernando Martinez not making the trip to face Cole Hamels, Porter will get a look at Marwin Gonzalez at second base, Chris Carter at first base, Nate Freiman at designated hitter and Trevor Crowe in right field.
Porter said he wanted the regular position players to get between 50 and 70 at-bats in games.
"Some guys may need more, some guys may need less," he said. "A guy like Carlos Pena may feel like he's locked in with a week to go in camp. Altuve may feel the same way, or he may say, 'I need to play seven, eight, nine innings because I need extra at-bats.'"
Porter originally had Che-Hsuan Lin in right field against the Phillies, but the skipper got a surprise Wednesday when he told the Taiwanese outfielder he was in the lineup.
"He says, 'Bo, I'm not going to be here. I leave today,'" Porter said. "I said, 'Leave? Leave to go where?' He said, 'To the World Baseball Classic.' I knew he was going to the Classic, but I didn't know he was leaving [Wednesday]. I was under the impression all the guys going to the Classic were going to leave on March 2. That was a little bit of a shock, but we're glad that he's going to play for his country and represent his country, and we're in full support of that."
Lin is playing for Chinese Taipei in the Classic.