According to multiple media sources, general manager Jeff Luhnow said first baseman Japhet Amador is still in Mexico and may not report for spring training due to a family emergency. All Astros players were supposed to report to camp in Kissimmee, Fl. today.
Amador was signed by Houston last season from the Mexican League’s Mexico City Red Devils after hitting .368 and leading the league in home runs with 36. He was brought in to compete for the open job at first base for the Astros and seemed to have a good chance to earn that spot heading in to spring training.
In an interview at FanFest on Jan. 25, Luhnow said that the way Amador’s contract is structured, he would most likely be sent back to his Mexican League team if he did not make the Astros 25-man opening day roster.
Among those competing for a spot at first on the major league roster are Jonathan Singleton, Jesus Guzman and Brett Wallace. However, according to Houston Chronicle beat writer Evan Drellich, Singleton has still not reported for camp.
With Amador gone and Singleton a no-show at the moment, the first baseman’s job seems to be Guzman’s to lose. Guzman struggled last season with the Padres hitting just .226 with a measly .378 slugging percentage, but hopes to repeat the success he found in 2011 when he posted a .312/.369/.478 slash line for San Diego.
The Astros play their first spring training game on Feb. 28 against the Atlanta Braves.