Mills already at work in Kissimmee

Astros manager Brad Mills, who arrived at the team’s Spring Training complex in Kissimmee, Fla., on Monday, was roaming around the back fields at Osceola County Stadium on Wednesday morning, taking in the start of a sunny, 80-degree day in central Florida.

Mills said several players were already at the facility working out, including Travis Buck, J.B. Shuck, Henry Sosa, Humberto Quintero, Angel Sanchez and Brian Bixler. Pitchers and catchers will work out collectively for the first time Monday, and the first full-squad workout is scheduled for Feb.26.

“I wanted to get down here and check out the complex and walk around it and make sure everything is ready for us when we start on Monday,” Mills said. “We’ve got about seven or eight guys working out and taking BP and stuff on the field, and I thought I’d walk around and say hello and see how they’re doing. It’s kind of neat. The fields are in pretty good shape, and it’s beautiful.”

Mills expects the remainder of his coaching staff to arrive on Friday, and the staff will have meetings on Saturday and Sunday in advance of the start of camp. Mills, entering his third year as manager of the Astros, has been talking frequently with new bench coach Joe Pettini, who joins the Astros this year after 10 years in St. Louis.

“We’ve spent a lot of time on the phone going over a lot of things,” Mills said. “I think the [Spring Training workout] format is going to change because he’s done things differently. I don’t expect any problems at all. Joe and I have talked many times on the phone and it’s all gone really well.”

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