Raul Valdes (Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports)
For starters, the good news is that Amador’s wife is doing better allowing him to leave Mexico. But from a baseball standpoint, it is good to get the hulking first baseman into camp. At this point he is likely too far behind to have a chance at making the Opening Day roster. The chances of that weren’t great to begin with, but you never know. Now at least the Astros can start to see what they have in Amador.
Mark Appel is another Astro who started camp behind his teammates, or at least we thought. Recovering from an appendectomy, it seemed like last year’s first overall pick would be limited early on in the season. But so far, that does not seem to be the case.
"Mark Appel threw a strong bullpen on Wednesday, continuing to build up strength from his appendectomy."
Now regardless of how he did this spring, he wasn’t going to make the Astros out of camp anyway, so I would expect Bo Porter to tread carefully with Appel.
We also found out during which games the Astros will be testing the new replay system that will be implemented for 2014.
"The Astros will be able to fully test out the new video replay and challenge system in these games: March 8 vs. the Yankees; March 9 vs. the Blue Jays; March 12 vs. the Nationals; March 14 vs. the Cardinals; March 22 vs. the Cardinals."
Raul Valdes also threw off a mound for the first time all spring as he tries to win a job in the Astros bullpen as a left-handed specialist.