In line with the March Madness theme, the Astros announced Tuesday morning that the battle for two remaining spots in the rotation is down to the final four.

With that announcement, it appears clear that J.A. Happ will fall in behind Wandy Rodriguez and Bud Norris in the middle of the rotation. So, before we get to the final four discussion, the question is simple: Should Happ get the free pass?

The lanky left-handed product of last year's Roy Oswalt trade, Happ has not yet established himself, either in the regular season (2011) or in spring training. In three starts this spring, Happ has allowed seven earned runs while ammassing a 2.19 WHIP in 8 2/3 IP. Small sample to be sure, but 15 hits and four walks in what amounts to one complete game could be problematic, don't ya think? Adding a little pressure — let's say 5 candidates for the last 3 spots — may pay dividends in the race.