Whitley is scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut Monday against the Mets, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Ace Justin Verlander will start for the Astros and likely cover around two innings before giving way to Whitley, who is one of several pitchers competing for a back-end rotation spot in spring training. Though Whitley is the Astros' top prospect and arguably the top pitching prospect in all of baseball, Houston's wealth of intriguing rotation candidates makes it likely that the 21-year-old opens 2019 at Triple-A Round Rock or Double-A Corpus Christi. He finished the 2018 campaign with the latter affiliate, with whom he supplied a 3.76 ERA and 1.00 WHIP while striking out 34 in 26.1 innings.

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