...over Jason Lane
HOUSTON -- During batting practice on Saturday, manager Phil Garner trotted to the outfield where Luke Scott was shagging fly balls and informed him that he would be starting in right field on Opening Day.
It appears Scott will receive the majority of playing time in right this season. Garner won't use a straight platoon with Jason Lane, although he does plan to give Lane a handful of starts when the team is facing a left-hander.
"Luke will get a lot of the playing time," Garner said. "I will use not really a platoon situation, but I will play Jason Lane against left-handers on occassion."
That doesn't mean Lane will get every start against lefties. The Astros are facing Zach Duke on Monday, and Garner has no issue inserting Scott in the lineup for that game.
Garner's announcement answered the much talked about mystery surrounding who would win the right field spot -- Scott, who had a phenomenal second half in '06, or Lane, who struggled last year but displayed quite a bit of pop in his bat during Spring Training.
"This is a good luxury to have," Garner said. "Jason provides solid defense when he's in the field and I'd like to say Luke's done a nice job defensively in the spring. He really helped himself in that regard. Both guys, whether they're in the field or not, they give you a wonderful weapon off the bench, power off the bench."
This will be Scott's second Opening Day start. He started in left field two years ago.
This one, Scott said, will be different.
"That was more emotional," he said. "I realized my lifelong dream. Now I feel I know what it's all about it, I have some time underneath my belt.
"I'm just very thankful. I'm excited to get the season started, excited to get going."
Garner has not revealed his Opening Day lineup. He's still toying with the idea of hitting Morgan Ensberg second, Scott fifth and Chris Burke sixth.
Garner could also decide to stick with the original plan, which has Burke hitting second, Ensberg fifth and Scott sixth.
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"Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork." - Willie Stargell on Sandy Koufax