Astros' spring training
opens with high hopes
By Stuart H. Clements
Daily Cougar Staff
The Houston Astros began spring training
with a new manager. Jimmy Williams, a former Red Sox manager, takes the
place of Larry
Dierker and was reportedly hired because
of his administrative strengths and great teaching skills.
The Astros have a talented minor league
to build their future on, and team management said they felt it was important
for this reason to
fill the position with a person who liked
to teach and was good at it.
Williams has already managed to impress
General Manager Gerry Hunsicker with the potential of this year's pitching
Hunsicker commented that the pitching staff
has "the potential to be the best staff we've ever had since I've been
Wade Miller has scored the opportunity
to be the opening-day pitcher when the Astros take on the Milwaukee Brewers
on April 2.
Miller had a 16-8 record last season with
a 3.40 ERA.
The top four slots in this season's pitching
rotation have already been determined.
Roy Oswalt, Shane Reynolds and Dave Mlicki
will follow Miller.
Carlos Hernandez and Tim Redding are battling
for the fifth spot in the rotation during spring exhibition games.
Williams' expertise will be valuable when
dealing with younger players like Oswalt and Miller, and his business-like
management should be well-received by
veterans Jeff Bagwell, Shane Reynolds and Craig Biggio.
Many players are excited about this season's
potential with the younger players in starting positions.
"It's going to be a challenge, but it's
going to be fun, and I think we're going to have a great team this year,"