It appears to be a matter of life and death. Literally.
Japhet Amador still has not reported to Spring Training, and there also does not appear to be a timeline for that to take place. At this point there is no chance that Amador will start 2014 with the Astros, and it is also unclear whether he will report at all, and when that would be.
Amador’s wife, in Mexico, is currently pregnant and is having serious health problems.
“I don’t know what it is exactly, but he’s worried that he could lose her,” Suarez said. “She’s having a lot of difficulties. She’s been in the hospital, I don’t know how long now. The bottom line is he would love to be there, but he says, ‘I’m not leaving my wife’s side,’ and he says that, ‘If worse comes to worse, I can play in Mexico and have her next to me.’”
The first baseman is making his wife’s and family’s health the priority, and there is nothing wrong with that. Personally, it is not an option for Amador to move to the United States as he will forgo, at least temporarily, a professional career with the Astros.
“He said Oscar, ‘I’m not taking my wife to the United States, not right now,” Suarez said. “It’s not that he wants to go to another ball club or anything like that. He’s happy with Houston, he’s happy with Bo (manager Bo Porter), he’s happy with Jeff (Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow). They’ve treated him with nothing but class.
To Jeff Luhnow’s credit, he is being very patient and understanding with Amador and will not hold this against him. As far as the on field situation goes, the Astros’ options legitimately now are just Jesus Guzman, Marc Krauss, and Jonathan Singleton. Guzman will have the role to start the season in all likelihood and will play a role all season. But the onus here is really on Singleton to have a strong Spring Training and make an impact at first base this season.