Results tagged ‘ pictures ’

Lyles hoping to get more out of his frame

Minor League pitching coordinator Jon Matlack took some extra time following workouts Friday to have a one-on-one, hands-on session with 21-year-old right-hander Jordan Lyles on one of the pitching mounds.

“We’re just tweaking some things that people have seen in my delivery that maybe there’s more energy I can put into it and the velocity would be greater,” Lyles said. “We were really bouncing thoughts off of each other and he was asking me what am I thinking, what am I doing. He’s trying to get the most out of my frame and my delivery.”

Matlack was a three-time All-Star hurler in a playing career that spanned 13 seasons. He also served as Detroit’s Major League pitching coach in 1996 and spent eight seasons as a Minor League pitching coach with the White Sox and Padres. The Tigers let him go in August.

For more on Lyles and the rest of the news of the day, including some health updates and what Cesar Cedeno is up to, click here.

And don’t forget to read my feature on newcomer Kyle Weiland.

Here is Friday in pictures:

Zach Duke in a "what now?" pose.

Pitcher Paul Clemens practices his sliding.

At least Lance Berkman's old number went to another native Texan -- Justin Ruggiano.

Bud Norris playfully claps at a teammate's sliding attempt.

Arcenio Leon throws a ball during PFPs.

Jason Bourgeois takes a cut during BP.

Pitching coach Doug Brocail throws to Kyle Weiland covering first.

Matt Downs reported and stretched.

Astros get a look at more new pitchers

The second day of pitcher and catcher workouts went off without a hitch, with Astros manager Brad Mills getting his first look at pitchers like Rhiner Cruz, Livan Hernandez and Paul Clemens when they threw in the bullpen for the first time.

“Watching the guys throw, that’s always the biggest thing,” Mills said. “I thought Rhiner Cruz threw the ball really well. I thought Bud Norris threw the ball well and Paul Clemens, too. Livan’s command of his pitches was pretty impressive. The guys are doing the things to get themselves ready. Today was a much better day. Guys knew better where to go and what to do.”

General manager Jeff Luhnow was impressed with Clemens, who came to the Astros in the Michael Bourn trade.

“He’s got a big arm,” he said. “We’re going to develop him as a starter. My philosophy for the better arms is until they prove to us they don’t have three pitches and don’t have command to start, we’re going to start them, and it looks like [Clemens] has got everything he needs.”

Let’s get right to the photos:

Brad Mills hits rag balls to the pitchers.

Catchers lined up in the bullpen.

Side-armer Rhiner Cruz fires a pitch as GM Jeff Luhnow and special assistant Mike Elias watch.

Lucas Harrell throws a pitch with a bunch of folks watching.

Bench coach Joe Pettini hits a rag ball at the pitchers.

Lucas Harrell gets some tips from pitching coach Doug Brocail.

Paul Clemens fires towards home plate.

Mike Kvasnicka and roving Minor League catching instructor Danny Sheaffer.

Chris Snyder and Bud Norris shake hands after working together for the first time.

Carlos Corporan prepraes to swing in the batting cage.

Pictures of the Astros in Toronto

With social media phenom Alyson Footer sitting this trip out, I thought I would take the opportunity to step into her shoes and post some batting practice pictures:

You recognize that guy! That's Astros Hall of Fame announcer Milo Hamilton before calling a game in his 59th ballpark. Quite an achievement

Jays OF Corey Patterson talks to Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn.

Astros pitching coach Brad Arnsberg, formerly of the Jays, talks to Toronto media

The Jays had it really rolling for a while

Astros manager Brad Mills visits with Jays manager John Farrell

Clint Barmes, Brian Bogusevic and Chris Johnson wait for BP to start

Astros pitchers stretch on the field

Rogers Centre roof slides open. That part on left slides in between the two parts on the right. A modern marvel, if you ask me

These gals came all the way from Houston to watch the Astros. Talk about die-hard fans!

The CN Tower soars high over Rogers Centre

Chris Johnson reads off the Astros starting lineup for the camera

Astros position players yuck it up as the roof begins to slide open

Michael Bourn and Jason Bourgeois talk before BP

Grapefruit League play means heavy evaluations

The Astros are getting down to business. The team will play a six-inning intrasquad game following Sunday’s morning work before opening Grapefruit League play on Monday against the Atlanta Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

While none of the regular players will participate in the intrasquad game, it will be interesting to see manager Brad Mills‘ starting lineup for Monday’s game. Mills has said the lineup is set, and it could give us our first glimpse what the lineup will look like when the regular season starts.

The most intriguing thing to me is who will hit second. There really is not a prototypical No. 2 hitter in the starting eight position players, so we could see Clint Barmes or Bill Hall there for now. Perhaps if Jason Castro gets going at the plate, he could be the guy at some point.

But there’s little doubt Mills is ready to see his players in game conditions.

“You can evaluate all you want, and all of a sudden it comes to a screeching halt come Monday,” he said. “It goes into a separate gear, and the reason it goes into a separate gear is you’re on the field, playing another ballclub. You can evaluate all you want now but you can be fooled by Spring Training and September. You try to put all the things together and do what you can.”

Here are the upcoming pitching rotations:

Intrasquad game home team: Nelson Figueroa, David Carpenter, Ross Wolf, Jose Valdez, Jorge De Leon and Arecenio Leon.

Intrasquad game away team: Fernando Abad, Casey Fien, Cesar Carrillo, Douglas Arguello, Patrick Urckfitz and Jordan Lyles.

Monday vs. Braves (road): Wandy Rodriguez, Henry Villar, Enerio Del Rosario, Fernando Rodriguez, Lance Pendleton, Sergio Escalona and Wesley Wright.

Tuesday vs. Braves (home): Brett Myers, Brandon Lyon, Jeff Fulchino, Fernando Abad, Mark Melancon, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Gustavo Chacin, Patrick Urckfitz.

Wednesday vs. Tigers (split squad): J.A. Happ, Wilton Lopez, Gustavo Chacin, Ross Wolf, David Carpenter, Jorge De Leon.

Wednesday vs. Yankees (split squad): Bud Norris, Douglas Arguello, Jorge Valdez, Casey Fien, Jordan Lyles, Cesar Carrillo.

And finally, here’s the day in pictures, with an emphasis on some of the guys from  Major League camp:

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Above: The Astros pulled over a few Minor Leaguers from mini camp to be used as base runners during rundown drills. Here Bud Norris talks with outfielders Telvin Nash and Jay Austin prior to the drill.

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Above: A group of catchers set up to catch some bullpens.

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Above: This is catcher Ben Heath, a fifth-round pick last year from Penn State who swatted 10 home runs in 61 games in his professional debut.

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Above: To get an idea of how big outfielder Telvin Nash is, here he is standing to Brett Wallace. Nash, a third-round pick in 2009, is listed as 6-2, 220. He hit 13 homers last year in 213 Minor League at-bats, mostly at Class A Greeneville.

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Above: Infielder Tommy Manzella flies around the bases during a drill Saturday.

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Above: Astros players take a much-needed breather after a grueling base-running drill.

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Above: Hall of Fame radio broadcaster Milo Hamilton arrived in camp and was greeted by several players, incliuding Jason Michaels. Hamilton, who is in his 62nd Spring Training, returns for his 27th season as the radio voice of the Astros. He has been broadcasting Major League Baseball since 1953, and his 57 years in the Major Leagues is second only to Vin Scully’s 62.

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Above: Michael Bourn has been working hard on his bunting this spring.

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Above: My man Brett Myers fires a pitch during a bullpen session Saturday.

Astros full squad hits the field

The clubhouse was buzzing and full of excitement this morning as 62 players – everyone except veteran infielder Bill Hall – dressed and took the field for the first full-squad workout of Spring Training.

The players took physicals in the morning and then heard from owner Drayton McLane, general manager Ed Wade and manager Brad Mills in a quick team meeting.

“I talked to them about the opportunity we have here,” McLane said.

Wade reminded the players they have a veteran core nucleus who know what they’re responsibilities are from the standpoint of leadership, but he also told the many young players on the roster they also carry some responsibilities.

“The young guys don’t have to act like young guys,” Wade said. “They can step up and hold themselves and their teammates accountable and hold that measure of trust between themselves and their teammates and the staff and believe in themselves.”

Hall, who signed with the Astros in December, isn’t expected to be with the club until Wednesday following the birth of his child. Among the players who arrived for the first time in camp were Carlos Lee and Michael Bourn.

“It’s time to get going,” Mills said. “It’s really kind of hard to ease into those types of things because we start playing games in a week. Most of the guys are ready to go, they’ve at least been playing catch. We’re going to introduce a lot of the things and they’ll get it done. We’ll be fine.”

Here are some early-morning pictures of the players getting ready for the first full-squad workout:
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Above: Clint Barmes, Hunter Pence and Brett Wallace emerge from the clubhouse for the first full-squad workout of Spring Training.

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Above: Jason Michaels hits the field for the first full-squad workout of Spring Training.

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Above: Carlos Lee prepares to take the field for the first workout.

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Above: Brad Mills speaks briefly to the team before beginning early-morning stretch.