The Astros begin to arrive at Spring Training
Pitchers and catchers officially reported to spring training on Monday with constant reminders of all the changes the club has been and will be going through this season.
Of course there is the move to the American League, new logo and new uniforms and a new manager in Bo Porter. As new signs and colors decorate the clubhouse for the 61 players on the team’s Spring Training roster – 39 new faces – who will report to camp this year, everyone in the organization is enthusiastically embracing all the changes.
“I think it helps their mindset,” Porter said. “We’ve talked about change throughout the organization from the time Jim Crane has taken over the ball club and all the many hires of which he has made. This here kind of sets the tone and a lot of these guys, because they can visually, see, ‘OK, things have changed,’ and when you realize things have changed, you first realize that they’re never going to be the same.”
“It’s great to see all the new people come in,” pitcher Lucas Harrell said. “We brought in a lot of really good players. To see all these new guys come in and hopefully an attitude change from a little bit last year, and just an overall motivation to get better to have a better season. It’s nice to see that."
“Their attention to detail – when you get into conversations with them about the upcoming season – you can tell that there is a look in their eye like, ‘OK, let’s get this thing started,'" Porter said.
With so many new faces comes a lot of opportunity and a lot of competition. When Porter was asked if he knew who his opening day starter would be yet, he said he did not. He wants his pitchers to compete like every other position. He added competition makes everyone better and that being the opening day starter is a serious honor.
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- Several position players also already reported on Monday when their schedule report date isn’t until this Friday, Feb. 15. Three groups already took batting practice on the first official day with Bo Porter throwing one of those sessions. Jose Altuve, Marwin Gonzalez, Brett Wallace, Nate Frieman, Matt Dominguez, Tyler Green, Justin Maxwell and J.D. Martinez were among the early birds.
- Craig Biggio and Roger Clemens are expected to spend time working with Astros Major League and minor league players this Spring. Their camp dates will be announced in the upcoming days.
- The first minor league camp workout for pitchers and catchers is March 3 while the first workout for position players is March 7. Minor league games begin March 14.
- The Astros will begin a mini-camp for several minor league players at the Osceola County minor league complex on Feb. 22