UHCL The Signal
The official student newspaper of the University of Houston-Clear Lake

Astros 2018 spring training is in full swing


Spring training is the beginning of the baseball season, a time for players to get back on their feet and hone in on their skills. It is also a time for fans to see their favorite players up close and personal.

It is finally spring. The greatest time of the year has come for baseball fans. While springtime brings a change in weather, it also brings baseball season back. Spring training is officially here, and baseball fans are beyond ready for it.

Having sat through football season and part of basketball season, baseball fans have long been ready for their sport to return ever since the Astros hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy at the end of the 2017 season. Since the Astros won the 2017 World Series, their fans have been salivating at the idea of them doing it again in 2018.

Gerrit Cole prepares to pitch in a simulated game at Astros spring training. Photo courtesy of Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle.
Gerrit Cole prepares to pitch in a simulated game at Astros spring training. Photo courtesy of Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle.

“I’m going to have more fun watching games this year than I did last year,” said John Cruzan, behavioral science major. “Last year, when I would watch the games and we would start losing, I was like ‘okay here it is, this is where we fall apart.’ I’m not going to have that this year.”

The feelings that Cruzan has about watching games this year are echoed throughout the entire fandom. The Astros already won one championship, so Houston is satisfied. However, the idea of being the first baseball team to go back-to-back since the New York Yankees did it in 1999 and 2000 has Astros fans excited.

George Springer is Education Major Katelynn Rivardo’s favorite player, and she is confident that this season will lead the Astros back to the World Series.

“Oh, we’re definitely winning it all again this year,” Rivardo said. “George Springer is going to win the MVP too.”

Spring training serves as a showcase of the talent that each organization has. Not only are the star players there, but the players who are trying to make a name for themselves are there too.

There are also players who are fighting for a spot on the 25-man roster that each team has.

A few names to keep an eye out for: Kyle Tucker, the Astros’ top prospect; Derek Fisher, the rookie from last year who scored the winning run in game 5 of the World Series and will be looking to win the starting left field position; and Gerritt Cole, the starting pitcher the Astros acquired over the winter who will join the rotation. These players will have the eyes of Astros fans all of spring.

Brian McTaggart, Astros beat writer, believes Cole is ready to be a star on the team.

“Cole is a finished product whose best days are probably still ahead of him,” McTaggart said.

The fact that fans believe Cole’s best days are ahead of him is exciting, considering that Cole already finished fourth in the Cy Young voting in 2015.

Spring training will serve as an opportunity for Astros fans to regain the fire that they had last year, to see the possibilities that could occur this year and as a space for fans to interact with the players on a more personal level. Keep an eye out for the results of spring training.