Results tagged ‘ spring Training ’

Clemens back at work with the Astros

Roger Clemens meets with the media Sunday.

Roger Clemens meets with the media Sunday.

Roger Clemens was back on the fields at Osceola County Stadium on a chilly morning, wearing and orange and blue batting practice cap, a new blue Astros jacket and a pair of blue jeans that had the team’s daily schedule tucked in the back of the waist.

“Our colors have changed and the expectations have changed a little bit,” Clemens said.

Sunday marked Clemens’ first day on the field as a special instructor for the Astros. He’ll spend about four days in Kissimmee this week, and be back and forth between Florida and Houston two more times this spring. It was all result of owner Jim Crane wanting the seven-time Cy Young Award winner to get more involved while he has a personal services contract.

Clemens joined the coaches’ meetings on Sunday morning and then hit the field after speaking with reporters for about 10 minutes. He plans to shadow manager Bo Porter, trying to learn as much as he can about the Astros’ promising young pitchers, which he admits will be harder considering there are no names on the backs of the jerseys.

“It was fun to listen in on the coaches meeting,” he said. “A lot of great coaches are here to help these young kids kind of find their way, take the next step. Hopefully that’s the case.”

Clemens said his message to the players will be simple.

“Right now, you want to get great quality work in, not really quantity,” he said. “I’ve always felt the ability to focus better than the next person is what’s going to help them the most, and have those expectations they can win even though everybody thinks they can’t.

“Some of the excitement will wear off here after a week and games will get underway, and then  it’s trying to establish yourself. From what I understand from all the other pitching coaches floating around here is there’s plenty of jobs to be had on the staff, so that’s exciting. I’ve seen most of these guys.

“I know there’s not names on the backs on their jerseys, and that makes it a little more difficult. I’ve seen most of them and have thrown batting practice to some of the everyday players that are here now and doing the same things I’ve always done. I visit with the guys by phone or text and watch them, and that’s what it’s all about.”

When the season starts, Clemens will stay involved. He’s a season-ticket holder so he’ll be around the ballpark often, and the Astros will lean on him heavily when debating which player to take with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s First-Year Player Draft.

“I’ve seen film on guys they’re interested in and it’s always better to be able to eyeball them in person,” he said. “My deal is, I love rooting for the underdog. I’ve always been that way. I won 200 games with my stuff and my ability and [the rest] with my heart and getting it done. I’m excited. I’m a season-ticket holder, so I’m excited just like anybody else is for these guys to get out there.”

Porter has made a great first impression on Clemens.

“Bo has a lot of energy,” he said. “I like his detail. He pays attention to detail, and I like him talking about the running game a lot. For me, as a pitcher, I can just tell them… I don’t know our personnel and the guys that can run, but I imagine we have some guys who can run and get it done.”

Clemens was asked about the recent Hall of Fame vote, saying he wasn’t concerned with not getting elected on his first time on the ballot this year. He said his stint with the Sugar Land Skeeters last fall was simply about getting to play with his son, Koby, and not about making a comeback as so many had speculated.

Still, Clemens said he might get on the mound this spring and throw live batting practice, which would help him stay in shape and perhaps help the batters.

“I really enjoy doing it,” he said. “I try and throw quality BP and it’s fun for the guys. They seem to enjoy it. I can tell when a guy steps in the plate, I can tell him what I see and how I’m going to go about breaking him down as a hitter.”

First day of full workout goes well for Astros

Astros hitters will get their first look at live pitching during workouts Sunday, when the pitchers will throw to batters with a screen in front of the mound. There will be four days of live batting practice before the manager Bo Porter will hold an intra-squad game on Thursday.

“I just want the pitchers to make it through safe,” Porter said. “That’s more pitching practice than live batting practice. Whenever you incorporate screens and the backstops, that’s always been tough on the position players. It’s more about the pitchers than anything else. It does all those guys good to see a live arm and pick up the velocity on the baseball.”

The team will meet with the Major League Baseball Players’ Association on Friday and hold a like workout in advance of Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. Porter said the real evaluating of the players won’t begin for a while.

“Right now I’m honing on guys’ workouts,” he said. “When you get to the beginning stages of Spring Training and you don’t have the competition aspect of another team, you want to watch guys and see how they work. You watch them from a fundamental standpoint and see if anyone needs extra, extra, extra work as far as a particular fundamental.”

Porter stressed fundamentals to his club again Saturday, saying that in the American League teams don’t usually bunt until they’re behind late in the game. He said it’s vital teams field those bunts successfully to get outs to increase their chances of winning.

“You increase your chances of winning the game when you execute these plays properly,” he said. “It puts an emphasis on it, and the players actually understand the significance.”

  • In case you missed it, Astros owner Jim Crane told MLB.com he was looking forward to playing golf with President Barack Obama on Sunday. Obama is spending the weekend at Crane’s Floridian National Golf Club. MLB.com has the details.

Here are the pictures of the first full-squad workout:

Justin Maxwell poses for a baseball card photo.

Justin Maxwell poses for a baseball card photo.

Nate Freiman signs for fans.

Nate Freiman signs for fans.

Chris Carter poses for a baseball card photo.

Chris Carter poses for a baseball card photo.

Chris Carter and Carlos Pena talk at the cage.

Chris Carter and Carlos Pena talk at the cage.

Carlos Pena takes BP.

Carlos Pena takes BP.

Hitting coach John Mallee talks to J.D. Martinez at cage.

Hitting coach John Mallee talks to J.D. Martinez at cage.

Lucas Harrell looks for someone to high five.

Lucas Harrell looks for someone to high five.

Astros players with post-workout handshake.

Astros players with post-workout high five.

Former Astros MVP Richard Hidalgo, who lives in the area, watches the workout.

Former Astros MVP Richard Hidalgo, who lives in the area, watches the workout.

Pitcher Sam Demel throws to first base.

Pitcher Sam Demel throws to first base.

Third base coach Dave Trembley gives directions.

Third base coach Dave Trembley gives directions.

Morgan Ensbergh, infield coach for Class A Lancaster, hits grounders.

Morgan Ensberg, infield coach for Class A Lancaster, hits grounders.

Former Astros SS Adam Everett, an infield instructor, hits grounders.

Former Astros SS Adam Everett, an infield instructor, hits grounders.

Bud Norris.

Bud Norris.

Bo Porter talks to the media.

Bo Porter talks to the media.

Jim Crane talks to the media.

Jim Crane talks to the media.

Jim Crane's helicopter takes off.

Jim Crane’s helicopter takes off.

Crane arrives in Kissimmee, addresses team

Jim Crane's helicopter sits on Field 5 in Kissimmee.

Jim Crane’s helicopter sits on Field 5 in Kissimmee.

The day began when Astros owner Jim Crane arrived in a helicopter that landed on Field 5 at Osceola County Stadium a little before 8 a.m. ET, which created somewhat of a stir among some of the players. J.D. Martinez sent out a Tweet: “Mr Crane is in the building,” with a picture of the aircraft.

Saturday marked the first full-squad workout of spring, and Crane and manager Bo Porter addressed the club in an upstairs conference room prior to the workout.

“He’s special,” first baseman/designated hitter Carlos Pena said of Crane. “I had the pleasure of meeting him and having a conversation with him, and he’s definitely impressive. He’s got a great story of his own, and that’s exactly what we want to instill in this team, that everything is possible and you can grow and become better as time goes on.”

Pena, who lives nearby in Orlando, got a big bear hug from Rick Ankiel when he came in the clubhouse – a pair of veterans sharing a moment in a wide-eyed clubhouse. Pena talked about the young energy and how grateful he was to be in that atmosphere.

“It’s going to be good as far as Rick and I are concerned,” he said.

With Ankiel putting on his shoes at a nearby locker, Pena spoke loud enough to where he could be heard.

“We go way back to the point I remember standing in the batter’s box and being scared about being hit in the head,” he joked.

“That ended in a strikeout,” Ankiel woofed.

For the record, Pena never faced Ankiel in a regular-season game when Ankiel was still a pitcher.

Short work day in advance of full-squad workout

Following a day of steady rain that drenched the back fields at Osceola County Stadium, the Astros kept things light in Friday’s final workout before the full team hits the field on Saturday.

Three groups pitchers, including Erik Bedard, Philip Humber, Jordan Lyles, Dallas Keuchel, Jose Veras and Josh Fields, got their work in on the mound, but the pitchers got a break from their fundamental stations.

“We didn’t want to mess up the fields,” Astros manager Bo Porter said. “The dirt is a little bit soft. I talked to the grounds crew they strongly recommended that if we could stay off the field it would be better moving forward.”

Friday marked the official reporting date for position players, and outfielder Chris Carter — acquired in a Feb. 4 trade with Oakland — shortstop Jonathan Villar, catcher Carlos Perez and outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin were among those showing their faces for the first time.

Here’s video of Carter talking to MLB.com on Friday morning.

Porter will address the team as a whole for the first time Saturday at 9 a.m. ET, with owner Jim Crane and president and CEO George Postolos scheduled to be in town as well for the first full-squad workout.

“Guys are eager to get here and get around teammates and get started,” Porter said.

In other news:

  • Relief pitcher Hector Ambriz, who rolled his ankle in a drill Thursday, wasn’t able to throw off the mound Friday. He was seen by a team doctor and diagnosed with an ankle sprain and put in a walking boot. Porter said he is day-to-day.

The day was abbreviated, but there was still time for pictures:

Rene Garcia greets shortstop Jonathan Villar.

Rene Garcia greets shortstop Jonathan Villar upon his arrival in camp.

First base coach Dave Clark and GM Jeff Luhnow talk.

First base coach Dave Clark and GM Jeff Luhnow talk.

Our first look at catcher Carlos Perez, acquired from Toronto last July.

Our first look at catcher Carlos Perez, acquired from Toronto last July.

Ross Seaton signs an autograph.

Ross Seaton signs an autograph.

Rule 5 pick up Josh Fields prepares to throw a pitch.

Rule 5 pick up Josh Fields prepares to throw a pitch.

Rudy Owens, acquired from Pirates in Wandy Rodriguez trade, works in bullpen.

Rudy Owens, acquired from Pirates in Wandy Rodriguez trade, works in bullpen.

Catcher Rene Garcia puts on his gear.

Catcher Rene Garcia puts on his gear.

A coach greets bullpen coach Dennis Martinez.

A coach greets bullpen coach Dennis Martinez.

Bench coach Eduardo Perez lays down the law.

Bench coach Eduardo Perez lays down the law.

Rain cuts short day, but not the fun

It drizzled on and off Thursday morning, but the Astros still managed to get in a full workout on the back fields at Osceola County Stadium. But just as the pitchers and catchers were gathering for their post-workout handshakes, manager Bo Porter sprung a surprise.

He order the players into the clubhouse and up the stairs, where he had them watch a video of pitcher fielding practice performed correctly. The video ended with the final three outs of last year’s perfect game thrown by Philip Humber, who was honored earlier in the day by Porter with a sparkling cider toast, complete with a phone call from catcher A.J. Pierzynski from Arizona.

“We made an adjustment with the shaking hands, and we moved that indoors and we had a little video set aside for the guys,” Porter said. “The last three outs of the video was Humber’s last three outs of his perfect game, and then we shook hands.”

Humber was taken back with all the attention.

“It was good to do something like that,” he said of the morning toast. “Nothing to do with me, but to have something for the team to come together over. I thought it was a really good deal. I wasn’t expecting it. It was fun for everybody.”

And don’t miss today’s feature on Jason Castro, who’s hoping to grow defensively while working with veteran catching instructor Jeff Murphy.

Thursday’s Astros notebook is full of information, including Porter’s thoughts on not having names on the backs of jersey this spring, how the team celebrated Humber’s perfect game from a year ago and why Edgar Gonzalez drove 34 hours to Spring Training. And much, much more.

Some other news from Thursday:

  • Outfielder Jimmy Paredes was the latest position to report to camp on Thursday. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said catcher Carlos Perez and infielder Jose Martinez, who had been held up on visa issues, were both expected to arrive on camp on time. Position players are scheduled to report Friday in advance of Saturday’s first full-squad workout.
  • Right-hander Hector Ambriz rolled his ankle during a drill Thursday and had to get the ankle taped up. Manager Bo Porter said it wasn’t serious. Meanwhile, catcher Max Stassi was held out of workouts again Thursday because of strained oblique, but it’s also minor and he could return to action any day.
  • Roger Clemens is expected to be in camp at some point this weekend. General manager Jeff Luhnow didn’t know if the Rocket would working with pitchers beginning Saturday or Sunday, but he’ll soon be back in Kissimmee. Morgan Ensberg, the former Astros MVP who’s returning to the club as a Minor League coach, arrived in town Thursday.

Here is the day in photos:

Jose Altuve signs an autograph.

Jose Altuve signs an autograph.

J.D. Martinez and Marwin Gonzalez head to hitting coaches.

J.D. Martinez and Marwin Gonzalez head to hitting cages.

Xavier Cedeno rocks and fires.

Xavier Cedeno rocks and fires.

Tony DeFrancesco sets the guys straight.

Tony DeFrancesco sets the guys straight.

Bullpen coach Dennis Martinez watches Kevin Chapman throw.

Bullpen coach Dennis Martinez watches Kevin Chapman throw.

Catching instructor Jeff Murphy works with Jason Castro.

Catching instructor Jeff Murphy works with Jason Castro.

Jimmy Paredes is all smiles as he arrives.

Jimmy Paredes is all smiles as he arrives.

Jason Castro catches a bullpen.

Jason Castro catches a bullpen.

Max Stassi, out with an oblique, watches the catchers.

Max Stassi, out with an oblique, watches the catchers.

Delino DeShields Jr. talks to a fan while he signs.

Delino DeShields Jr. talks to a fan while he signs.

Escalona gets back on the mound

The biggest news of the day concerning the Astros actually happened nearly 1,000 miles away in Houston, where the club announced its 2013 radio and television broadcast team. There wasn’t much mystery to the names, but with the start of games only 10 days, the incoming broadcasters can talk publicly about their new roles. Stay tuned.

Today’s Astros notebook has tons of information, including injury update on catcher Max Stassi, what Bo Porter has to stay about leadership and a look who might hit leadoff for the Astros. We also take a closer look at manager Bo Porter and what he’s done in the first few days of camp to transform the mood of the club.

At Osceola County Stadium, another three groups of pitchers got on the mound for the first time.

Group 1B: Erik Bedard, Philip Humber, Jordan Lyles, Jose Cisnero, Rudy Owens.

Group 2B: Dallas Keuchel, Jose Veras, Josh Fields, Ross Seaton, Rhiner Cruz.

Group 3B: Paul Clemens, Chia-Jen Lo, Hector Ambriz, C.J. Fick, Sergio Escalona.

It was a big step for Escalona, who missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery.

“That is one step right now to just keep going to the goal,” he said. “I say ‘Thank God.’ That’s everything I have to say. I was patient, I was working for this day and, like I said, it’s one step at a time. I can’t get overexcited and just try to do everything to my best. I’m excited and really happy for today and just need to prepare for the second one.”

Here is the day in pictures:

J.D. Martinez does an interview.

J.D. Martinez does an interview.

Bench coach Eduardo Perez.

Bench coach Eduardo Perez.

Bo Porter tells the pitchers "don't panic" if they have trouble fielding a ball.

Bo Porter tells the pitchers “don’t panic” if they have trouble fielding a ball.

Pitching coach Doug Brocail in coach's scrum

Pitching coach Doug Brocail makes a point in coach’s scrum.

Sergio Escalona is all smiles after throwing first bullpen.

Sergio Escalona is all smiles after throwing first bullpen.

Paul Clemens throws in the bullpen.

Paul Clemens throws in the bullpen.

Chia-Jen Lo throws in the bullpen.

Chia-Jen Lo throws in the bullpen.

Justin Maxwell greets Bo Porter.

Justin Maxwell greets Bo Porter.

Catching instructor Jeff Murphy.

Catching instructor Jeff Murphy gets a little animated.

Catcher Jason Jaramillo.

Catcher Jason Jaramillo.

Jason Jaramillo and Dallas Keuchel.

Jason Jaramillo and Dallas Keuchel talk following bullpen session.

Porter visits with veterans about leadership

Astros manager Bo Porter met with a group of players prior to Wednesday morning’s workout that he wants to take a leadership role on the club this spring. The meeting, which Porter dubbed “Astros Talk,” included Jason Castro, Carlos Corporan, Jason Jaramillo, Erik Bedard, Bud Norris, Philip Humber, Lucas Harrell, Wesley Wright, Jose Veras and Edgar Gonzalez.

“We talked about leadership, and there’s a reason why I picked those guys,” he said. “Some of those guys have been on other teams where obviously it hasn’t been the situation we have here where we have a lot of young guys, and a lot of times these guys have been on teams and they have been the young guys.

“They now find themselves in a situation they become the older spokesmen. Like I said to them, I want to make sure we’re all on one sheet of music and we understand what leadership is all about and how you can effectively lead. If they had any questions, I wanted to be available for them to answer those questions to make sure we’re on one accord.”

Most baseball names don’t have a captain as in some other sports. The Yankees are one team that has traditionally identified a singular captain. Porter doesn’t plan to do that in Houston. Instead, he’s giving the responsibility of leader the younger players to those with the most service time.

“I explained to them, we’re not looking for one leader,” Porter said. “We’re looking for a group of leaders, because I’m a firm believer that leaders have to exist in every area, every level of the organization if you want the organization to continue to grow and continue to thrive. And the leaders have to develop the next wave of leaders. We’re not looking for one; we’re looking for a group.”

The first injury of camp was reported Wednesday morning when catcher Max Stassi, acquired in last week’s trade with Oakland, was diagnosed with a strained oblique. He will be held out of drills Wednesday.

“We’re going to pull him back a little bit as far as his workload goes,” Porter said. “He kind of tweaked his oblique a little bit.”

Here are a couple of quick morning photos:

Third base coach Dave Trembley is always smiling as he is here talking with Dave Clark and Dennis Martinez.

Third base coach Dave Trembley is always upbeat as he is here talking with Eduardo Perez and Dennis Martinez.

Bud Norris stretches prior to workout.

Bud Norris stretches prior to workout.

Astros, Porter get the first day in the books

Every day for Astros manager Bo Porter is simply about laying a foundation. Every day will be another brick in the team’s master plan of building a championship contender, he said, and the Astros took another step towards that process Tuesday when pitchers and catchers worked out for the first time.

“It was a good brick,” Porter said of the first workout.

The groups of pitchers that put in their first in the bullpen were:

Group 1A: Lucas Harrell, Bud Norris, John Ely, Jarred Cosart, Brad Peacock.

Group 2A: Wesley Wright, Edgar Gonzalez, Alex White, Sam Demel and Jose Valdez.

Group 3A: Xavier Cedeno, Josh Zeid, Kevin Chapman, Brett Oberholtzer.

Those who didn’t throw Tuesday will get on the mound Wednesday. When the pitchers weren’t throwing, they were rotated through three fundamental stations, covering pick-offs, fielding bunts and holding runners. The end of the day brought conditioning tests.

“When I heard running test, the first I heard as a pitching coach is, ‘I don’t want to lose anybody, I don’t want a groin tear or have a misshape with plantar fascistic,’” pitching coach Doug Brocail said. “They slowed some of our guys down. It was no big deal.”

Porter didn’t want the players to do too much on the first day.

“We don’t want them to come out here and blow out the first day,” he said. “It was good to see the guys get on the mound. I like the fact the majority of guys that stepped up there today, they kept the ball down and worked the outer half of the plate. It was good.”

The first day of workouts went smooth enough for Porter that the only thing he planned to change Tuesday was saving his voice. Porter was forced to yell across the fields several times to get someone’s attention, and by the end of the day the clubhouse staff had purchased air horns.

“I think the schedule went well,” he said. “The guys got a lot of work in.”

The pitchers will throw twice in the bullpen before throwing twice to live hitters once position players are here. They will take a three-day break before starting to work in games.

“Everybody looked good today,” Brocail said. “The adrenaline is starting to flow. I’ve been lucky. I’ve had Norris, Harrell, Zeid, [Ross] Seaton and Cosart at home for the last month and a half [in Houston] and on their bullpen day showed up and worked, and the other days we weren’t throwing bullpens I got to see who was coming in early and busting their hump every single day.”

There was some room for fun. Porter, who was a defensive back at the University of Iowa, pretended to cover Harrell, challenging him to get separation from him.

“It’s very important to have fun,” he said. “You come out here and look at the work schedule and there are portions of the day the work schedule is going to dictate you get right to it, but we get to certain aspects of the day we want these guys to be loose, we want them to have fun and at the same time get their work in.”

Another new wrinkle this year: The pitchers lined up to give each other congratulatory handshakes following the workout, mimicking what happens on the field after a win.

“If you want to be it, you have to be it before you are it,” Porter said. “We talk about the culture, we talk about winning. We’re going to do things around here that symbolizes winning and get these guys’ mindset used to shaking hands.”

Here is the day in photos:

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Catcher Chris Wallace chases a pop up.

Catcher Chris Wallace chases a pop up.

GM Jeff Luhnow says hello to catcher Max Stassi, acquired in Oakland trade.

GM Jeff Luhnow says hello to catcher Max Stassi, acquired in Oakland trade.

The catchers listen to catching instructor Jeff Murphy.

The catchers listen to catching instructor Jeff Murphy.

Brandon Laird signs an autograph.

Brandon Laird signs an autograph.

Josh Zeid fields a grounder.

Josh Zeid fields a grounder.

Paul Clemens throws to first.

Paul Clemens throws to first.

Dallas Keuchel works on pick-off move.

Dallas Keuchel works on pick-off move with Tony D. watching.

Jose Veras throws to first.

Jose Veras throws to first.

Jason Castro sets up behind plate.

Jason Castro sets up behind plate.

Wesley Wright throws in bullpen.

Jose Valdez throws in bullpen.

Astros players and coaches shake hands after workout.

Astros players and coaches shake hands after workout.

Tuesday morning update

Astros pitchers and catchers hit the field Tuesday morning at Osceola County Stadium for the first official workout of Spring Training. They’ll be joined on Saturday by the rest of the position players, many of whom are already in Kissimmee and working out.

Among those to arrive Tuesday were outfielders Rick Ankiel and Fernando Martinez, who said he has decided not to participate in the World Baseball Classic. Manager Bo Porter is thrilled to see so many position players in the field.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “We’ve had great participation in our offseason program and had guys in Houston working out throughout the offseason. You look around from a position-player standpoint, and I want to say we had about 15 players, position players, out yesterday doing a voluntary workout. It shows their anxiousness and excitement to get this thing started.”

Porter plans to address the team prior to Saturday’s workout, but he did have a few words before pitchers and catchers hit the field Tuesday.

“We talked about change,” he said. “You can look around and tell things are changed. We talked about the opportunities that present themselves in this organization. I told them, ‘Embrace both of them. Embrace change and embrace the opportunity,’ and we’re looking for guys to take the bull by the horn and take the opportunity to become Houston Astros.”

Here are some early photos:

Bullpen coach Dennis Martinez and Oklahoma City manager Tony DeFrancesco talk.

Bullpen coach Dennis Martinez and Oklahoma City manager Tony DeFrancesco talk.

 

Astros catcher Max Stassi is all smiles

Astros catcher Max Stassi is all smiles.

Pitcher Rhiner Cruz hits the field.

Pitcher Rhiner Cruz hits the field.

Jason Castro talks to bullpen assistant Jeff Murphy.

Jason Castro talks to bullpen assistant Jeff Murphy.

Bo Porter and Jeff Murphy.

Bo Porter and Brett Obertholzer.

Pitcher C.J. Ficks shares a laugh with teammates.

Pitcher C.J. Fick shares a laugh with teammates.

Jose Veras and Dennis Martinez shake hands.

Jose Veras and Dennis Martinez shake hands.

Pitchers and catchers listen to instruction prior to first workout.

Pitchers and catchers listen to instruction prior to first workout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luhnow, staff analyze each player on roster

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow met with the front office and the field staff for a few hours Monday afternoon to pore over every player on the Spring Training roster. It’s standard procedure in advance of pitchers and catchers hitting the field Tuesday for the first official workout of the spring.

Pitchers and catchers were officially scheduled to report Monday, and the only player who didn’t show up was catcher Carlos Perez, who’s dealing with visa issues in his native Venezuela. Luhnow didn’t have a timetable for his return, but doesn’t think it will be a long-term issue. The Astros have 29 pitches and six catchers currently in camp.

“The staff, we just all got together upstairs and talked through every pitcher and catcher in camp and it look us a few hours to do that,” Luhnow said. “Really talking about what our expectations are this spring, what’s it’s going to take for them to make the club, what scouting reports do we have for them from last year, talking about new players we haven’t seen yet. Trying to give everybody who’s here in camp as much background as they can on the players that are here.”

Monday’s Astros notebook has updates on who might start on the mound on Opening Day, the health of left-hander Sergio Escalona and more.

Here are some pictures from Monday’s camp activity:

Pitching coach Doug Brocail warms up.

Pitching coach Doug Brocail warms up.

Playing catch.

Playing catch.

Bo Porter and Jeff Luhnow walk and talk

Bo Porter and Jeff Luhnow walk and talk.

Venezuelans Javier Bracamonte, Jose Altuve and Marwin Gonzalez return from cages.

Venezuelans Javier Bracamonte, Marwin Gonzalez and Jose Altuve return from cages.

Philip Humber throws to Doug Brocail.

Philip Humber throws to Doug Brocail.

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