Dusty Baker To Walk Fine Line With Astros' Starters Against Royals

(SportsRadio 610) -- Expect the Astros' everyday starters to play about six or seven innings in Monday night's exhibition game against the Kansas City Royals. 

Astros manager Dusty Baker told reporters before the game he wants to give reserves a chance to get at-bats, but also wants the regulars to get quality reps in. 

"You don't want the other guys to just come here and don't play or get at-bats, but you want to stretch your regulars out," Baker said. "You don't want to fatigue them, but it's a fine line. You want to get their stamina up because they're going to start going nine innings here very soon. We'll probably go six or seven today, the same tomorrow." 

In an ordinary spring training, Baker would've stretched his starters out to a couple of nine-inning outings before easing it back. He mentioned one his worst managerial nightmares in the past was the possibility of extra innings on Opening Day. Baker wants players to be conditioned for it. 

"I think their stamina is pretty good," Baker said.

Lance McCullers Jr. will start on the mound for Houston. Baker is expecting him to throw around 75 pitches, or five innings, he said. 

Mike Montgomery will take the mound for Kansas City.

The Royals host the Astros in the first of two exhibition games in as many days, starting Monday night at 7 p.m.

Here is a look at the Astros' lineup:

CF George Springer

2B Jose Altuve

2B Alex Bregman

LF Michael Brantley

1B Yuli Gurriel

SS Carlos Correa

RF Josh Reddick

DH Aledmys Diaz

C Martin Maldonado