Oberholtzer critical of successful start to cap spring

Oberholtzer critical of successful start to cap spring

HOUSTON -- At first glance, Brett Oberholtzer's final outing of the preseason was a rousing success.

Everyone from manager Bo Porter to center fielder Dexter Fowler was complimentary of the lefty's six innings of shutdown ball on Saturday in the Astros' 2-0 win against the Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz of the Mexican League.

That is, everybody except for Oberholtzer. While he called it a "step forward," the southpaw still lamented leaving some pitches in the heart of the strike zone.

"That's why I'm not overly happy about it," Oberholtzer said. "I know some of the pitches I did throw more than likely would have gotten hit [by Major Leaguers]. It's a learning experience."

Oberholtzer said he's trying not to get hung up on results and focus on the process -- and pitches -- that will ultimately make for a consistent season.

"I felt good and the results were good, but I still have work to do," Oberholtzer said. "That comes every day with work, coming to the ballpark and being a pro."

Oberholtzer mostly used fastballs during his 58-pitch, two-hit outing. He said that the offspeed stuff was kept to a minimum after advice from some Minor League comrades on the split-squad roster.

"I got some insight from [Japhet] Amador and Leo [Heras], who played in the Mexican League," Oberholtzer said. "They told me, 'Slow bats.' So we pounded the fastball, and just mixed in the changeup and curveball to keep them from keying on it."

With the Yankees coming to town for Oberholtzer's season debut, though, the lefty wasn't willing to let that sparingly-used curveball off the hook.

"It's never where I want it to be," Oberholtzer said. "It's coming along. It's moving in the right direction. My direction to the plate felt better and the results showed a little bit. There's still a ways to go."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.