Whitley spins another gem for Astros

No. 7 overall prospect fans four over four hitless innings

Forrest Whitley has a 1.50 ERA over 12 innings in four Grapefruit League appearances. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

By MiLB.com Staff | March 16, 2019 12:19 AM

Back for one more start in big league camp, Forrest Whitley made the most of his opportunity.

MLB.com's No. 7 overall prospect tossed four hitless innings, striking out four and walking two, as the Astros blanked the Cardinals, 5-0, in a split-squad contest in West Palm Beach.

Whitley, along with second-ranked Astros prospect Kyle Tucker and five others, was assigned to Minor League camp on Tuesday. But with Houston playing two contests against St. Louis on Friday, the right-hander was given the chance to take the hill for another outing.

Harrison Bader reached on an error to start the night, but Whitley set down nine in a row until Drew Robinson worked a leadoff walk in the fourth inning. Marcell Ozuna drew his own free pass with one out, but Whitley set down the next two Cardinals, ending his night by fanning Matt Wieters.

Limited to 26 1/3 innings in eight starts in 2018 due to a 50-game suspension and a lat injury, the 2016 first-round pick has been dominant this spring with a 1.50 ERA and 15 strikeouts over 12 innings with the Major League club.

In other spring action:

Twins 12, Orioles 9

Fourth-ranked Twins prospect Wander Javier had a hit and an RBI before leaving early with a right quad strain in the win over the Orioles. Javier, who missed the entire 2018 season after having surgery to repair a torn labrum last May, exited after three innings "as a precaution for a right quad strain," MLB.com's Do-Hyoung Park reported. Luke Raley, the Twins' No. 26 prospect, added his first spring homer, a two-run drive in the third that plated Randy Cesar. Twins No. 6 prospect Brent Rooker singled and scored a run in the win. Orioles No. 25 prospect Drew Jackson belted a two-run homer in the sixth. 

 

Marlins 7, Braves 6

Austin Dean went 1-for-3 with two RBIs to help Miami edge Atlanta in Lake Buena Vista. Dean, the Marlins' No. 27 prospect, plated Brian Anderson with a single in the fifth inning, then knocked in Jon Berti with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. He's hitting .286 this spring. Braves No. 5 prospect Austin Riley singled in his only at-bat, while fourth-ranked Cristian Pache went 0-for-1 with an RBI groundout and a run scored. Box score

Phillies 3, Blue Jays 2

Blue Jays No. 15 prospect Trent Thornton worked around a walk with two strikeouts over 1 1/3 scoreless innings. He also plunked Bryce Harper in the ankle, forcing the newest Phillie to leave the game. Box score

Nationals 11, Mets 3

No. 4 overall prospect Victor Robles went 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout for the Nationals. Top Mets prospect Pete Alonso went 0-for-1. Eric Hanhold (No. 25) allowed a run on one hit and one walk in one inning in relief of Steven Matz. Box score

Rays (ss) 7, Tigers 3

Tigers No. 19 prospect Spencer Turnbull turned in a solid start, allowing one run on five hits over four innings, but Detroit fell to a split squad of Rays in Port Charlotte. Turnbull fanned two, walked one and lowered his spring ERA to 2.70. Brock Deatherage, the Tigers' 10th-round pick last June, stole a base and scored a run after entering as a pinch-runner. Box score

Rangers 5, Indians 2

Rangers No. 25 prospect Jose Trevino singled once in two plate appearances. Box score

Angels 5, Giants 5

Angels No. 21 prospect Jared Walsh allowed one hit, walked one and struck out one in an inning of scoreless relief. No. 28 prospect Brennon Lund singled twice in three plates appearances for the Angels Box score

Offseason MiLB include

Angels (ss) 2, D-backs 1

Angels No. 8 prospect Matt Thaiss singled and walked in three plate appearances, bringing his spring average to .387. Fourteenth-ranked Ty Buttrey picked up the win after allowing one hit in an inning of scoreless relief that dropped his ERA to 3.18. Box score

Brewers 6, Padres 2

Padres No. 21 prospect Tucupita Marcano singled and scored a run in his lone at-bat. Box score

Rockies 2, Royals 1

Rockies No. 4 prospect Peter Lambert started and allowed an unearned run on three hits over 3 2/3 innings. The 21-year-old right-hander struck out two without issuing a walk. Ben Bowden (No. 17) added two strikeouts in a hitless frame. At the plate, top Rockies prospect Brendan Rodgers singled in his only at-bat to raise his spring average to .222. Box score

Cubs 11, White Sox 9

Cubs No. 2 prospect Nico Hoerner smacked an RBI double down the right field line in the eighth inning. The 21-year-old shortstop has had such a productive spring that his 1-for-2 day lowered his Cactus League average to .636. Dakota Mekkes (No. 24) tossed a hitless eighth, striking out one. For the White Sox, No. 4 prospect Luis Robert plated two runs with a game-tying double in the seventh. Nick Madrigal (No. 5) was 1-for-2 with an RBI single and 17th-ranked Laz Rivera went 2-for-2 with an RBI double. Ryan Burr -- the club's 30th-ranked prospect -- struck out two in a scoreless eighth. Box score

Astros (ss) 11, Cardinals (ss) 2

Astros No. 23 prospect Abraham Toro continued his strong spring with a sixth-inning grand slam. The 2016 fifth-round pick is hitting .313 with a .934 OPS in Grapefruit League action. No. 16 prospect Myles Straw scored twice after reaching base four times, collecting two singles and two walks in five plate appearances. No. 13 Ronnie Dawson walked twice, stole a base and scored three runs. Top Cardinals prospect Alex Reyes yielded three runs on two hits and a walk in two innings. Box score

Rays (ss) 6, Pirates 6

Rays No. 29 prospect Tristan Gray provided the pop with a three-run homer in the seventh inning. With the Rays down by four, Gray stepped in against reliever Kyle Crick and smacked a line drive over the right field wall for his first long ball of the spring. The homer boosted his OPS to 1.000. Box score

Dodgers 8, Reds 1

Top Dodgers prospect Alex Verdugo hit a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth inning. Eighth-ranked Jeter Downs extended the lead when he drove in a run with a base knock against his former organization. No. 27 Cristian Santana drew a walk and scored a run to help out the offense. Top Reds prospect Nick Senzel went 1-for-3 as he bumped his spring average to .321. Box score

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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