Astros’ Mills mum on closer’s role

When pressed on Thursday about who he plans to use in the closer’s role this year, Astros manager Brad Mills remained non-committal. Mark Melancon spent most of the 2011 season at closer, but was shipped to the Red Sox in December.

“We’re having discussions as we speak,” Mills said. “We’ve talked about some things and talked about some guys as we go forward, and we’re constantly doing that. We’re talking about names and different guys we might give the opportunity and see how things go. It comes down to what we see in Spring Training and in some of these games, and also who we feel would do the best job.”

The Astros, who converted only 25 of 50 save chances last year, have several candidates. Veteran closer Brandon Lyon could step back into the role, but he missed most of last year following major arm surgery. Youngster David Carpenter could also be an option.

For more on the future of the closer situation, the health of Wandy Rodriguez and much more, click here.

And please don’t miss my story on Jed Lowrie’s fascinating African safari, in which he took some amazing photos.

Here are the photos of the day:

Bud Norris reacts as Aneury Rodriguez can't handle a grounder.

A group of pitchers get their work in.

Livan Hernandez warms up with Humberto Quintero.

Bench coach Joe Pettini takes in the workout.

Manager Brad Mills listens while Livan Hernandez talks to a group of pitchers.

Jason Castro sizes up his bats.

Bud Norris gets in his work in the bullpen.

Delino DeShields Jr. and George Springer await a workout.

Doug Brocail stands in during a bullpen sesson.

Manager Brad Mills and GM Jeff Luhnow talk.

Brett Wallace takes ground balls at third.

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