Day 5: Position players take the field
After hearing from owner Jim Crane, general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch in a team meeting Wednesday morning, 59 orange-clad Astros players hit the field for the first full-squad workout of the spring under cloudy skies.
“The guys reported in shape, they reported with a lot of enthusiasm and we got a lot of work in,” Hinch said. “The weather held off. We had a good day.”
Position players will rotate through different fundamentals daily before taking batting practice each day. Coaches threw batting practice on Wednesday, but the position players will face live pitching for the first time Thursday when the pitchers get back on the mound.
“We’ll get a team fundamental in every day – cut-offs and relays, bunt coverage, first and thirds, rundowns, those types of things,” Hinch said. “Much of the early part of camp will be centered around the pitchers’ readiness. Tomorrow we’re going to get some live batting practice where the pitchers are throwing to our hitters.
“We’ll have another team fundamental. We’ll mix it up a little bit, and we got back and forth on purpose, just not to have a monotonous workout every day. Early in camp until games start, we have two sections that we change every day. One is how many pitchers throw live batting practice, and two is the team fundamental.”
The only pitcher who threw in the bullpen Wednesday was Brad Peacock, who gets an extra day of rest between bullpens while he makes his way back from off-season hip surgery.
“Peacock was great,” Hinch said. “He’s healthy and it was another good step in the right direction. It was very encouraging to watch him bounce back into his second bullpen. You can tell he feels good. He’s starting to get a little irritated if he doesn’t executive a pitch, so it’s a good sign.”
Quotes of the day
“This is definitely the year we’re going to the playoffs,” – Jose Altuve.
“He’s a caveman. He does everything 150 percent with some conviction behind it,” – A.J. Hinch on Evan Gattis.
“There’s 60 people in that room, and there’s a lot of talent in that room. I’d put it on par with just about any organization,” – GM Jeff Luhnow.
Injury report: RHP Brad Peacock (hip surgery) threw his second bullpen Wednesday without incident. … RHP Vincent Velasquez (strained right lat) won’t throw for at least two-to-three weeks.
The day in photos can be found on my new Instagram page: https://instagram.com/brianmctaggartmlb/