Astros to use spring to get accustomed to replay
Astros manager Bo Porter plans to simulate the use of instant replay as much as he can during Grapefruit League play, even though he won’t always have access to a replay monitor. For Porter, it’s about identifying potential plays to challenge and learning the terminology and what he can or can’t do.
Officials from Major League Baseball, led by Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, briefed the Astros, Nationals, Tigers and Braves during a two-hour, 45-minute meeting Friday on expanded instant replay that will begin this year.
“They did a tremendous job of putting the information together and kind of giving us scenarios,” Porter said. “It was long, but it was very much needed, and I think it was very beneficial at the same time.”
Porter said one of the issues that was addressed during the meeting was the timing of when you can challenge a call.
“There were some questions that came up, ‘OK, if you have to make it before a pitching change is being made, if that guy leaves the bullpen, when does that constitute him being in the game?’” Porter said. “We were able to kind of clarify all of those issues, and I think everybody left there yesterday feeling comfortable with the rules, and it’s a thing we’re actually going to be able to put into practice this spring.”
Torre said each time will have at least five games during Spring Training during which it can implement replay, but the Astros are going to have their own program and use walkie-talkies if there’s no access to a phone.
“We’re going to go ahead and start from Day 1 and implement our process among myself, [bench coach] Dave [Trembley], the coaching staff, the video people, so we can practice it the entire spring,” Porter said.
Odds and ends
- Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, who was named the Astros executive advisor two weeks ago, will arrive in camp on March 10. As part of his duties, Ryan will work with Astros owner Jim Crane, president of business operations Reid Ryan and general manager Jeff Luhnow.
- The Astros will play an intrasquad game Sunday against a curveball machine, with the losing team serving the winning team lunch and banana splits. An intrasquad game against live pitching will be held Thursday, one day before the Grapefruit League opener.
- Astros owner Jim Crane was scheduled to arrived in Kissimmee, Fla., be in camp Saturday, but morning rains kept him away.
- Not much new to report on the injury front this morning as pitchers Asher Wojciechowski (lat), Jesse Crain (calf) and Jorge De Leon (right quad) are dealing with various injuries. Porter said De Leon was moving around more Saturday, but they’re still awaiting results of an MRI. Wojciechowski felt pain throwing Thursday in his back/shoulder are and won’t throw for a few days.
Here’s a couple of morning photos from rainy Kissimmee: