Day 4: Here come the position players
Astros pitchers threw their final bullpens Tuesday before facing live hitters. With the full squad set to work out for the first time Wednesday, the pitchers will take a day off from throwing before ratcheting it back up by facing hitters on Thursday – a week before the first Spring Training game.
Manager A.J. Hinch continues to be impressed by how well-prepared his pitchers are this spring.
“I think some of the readiness of the pitchers to get into games or into simulated games has been notable,” he said. “The number of guys that have come in here and told me they threw simulated innings, they’re up and running, there’s not too many guys easing into these bullpens. I don’t know if it surprised me, but it’s a pleasant surprise if I’ve been surprised.”
Hinch said the quality to attention to detail has been good.
“That’s expected at this level,” he said. “I don’t want to dive too much into things being surprising, but I expect a lot because this is the big leagues. Guys are coming and the focus is there and I’m happy with that.”
Before the full squad hits the field on Wednesday, the Astros will hold a team meeting. Hinch will talk to the team, and typically general manager Jeff Luhnow and owner Jim Crane will say a few words as well.
“I’ll have a couple of words for the whole team and then we’ll get on the field,” Hinch said. “I think the tone and the vibe of camp has been good, and I think the pitchers and catchers that have been here will be able to show and live with that, with the position players. There’s some messages to send, some introductions to be made, and then there’s a full-squad workout.”
Quotes of the day
“It’s hard to embarrass a guy who wears a beard like that,” — Hinch joking about singling out bearded Dallas Keuchel in clubhouse.
“I’d prefer no dive. It’s the one thing that we didn’t mention beforehand is we’d like them stay on their feet, but we corrected it afterwards,” — Hinch on 6-7 pitcher Scott Feldman taking all-out dive to try to field a ball during PFPs on Tuesday.
“I know he wants to prepare to play every day. From our early conversations, he doesn’t know what a day off is. That’s fine by me.” — Hinch on Jose Altuve.
Injury report: RHP Brad Peacock (hip surgery) threw 20 fastballs in the bullpen Sunday in his first action since having surgery and is progressing well. … RHP Vincent Velasquez (strained right lat) won’t throw for at least two-to-three weeks. … RHP Josh Fields (left hamstring tightness) threw in the bullpen Tuesday without incident
The day in photos can be found on my new Instagram page: https://instagram.com/brianmctaggartmlb/
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