By Mark Mitchell
The theme of the Houston Astros spring training is competition, and one of the most contested battles is who will emerge to earn spots in the starting pitching rotation.
With Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers and Bud Norris assured -- use that word cautiously with this team - the first three spots in the rotation, a variety of candidates are vying for the final two slots. J.A. Happ and Jordan Lyles have the inside track, but neither is in a strong enough position to feel that the jobs are theirs to lose. Livan Hernandez, Kyle Weiland, Zach Duke, Henry Sosa, Lucas Harrell and Paul Clemons are names mentioned as realistic contenders to earn the remaining starts.
The only certainty in the competition is that both ends of the experience spectrum are represented. For instance, Lyles has 15 career starts, all coming last year with the Astros, while Hernandez is in his 15th major league season. Talk about generation gap, Lyles was 6 years old when Hern...