Yes, it is still technically winter, Houston Astros fans.
But it sure does feel like spring with the Astros pitchers and catchers reporting to camp this past Thursday. There were even a few notable position players like Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa that reported early to Kissimmee.
And there has also been a fair share of drama early in regard to the closer role, overblown or not, which involves the newly acquired Ken Giles and last season’s closer Luke Gregerson. There likely isn’t nothing much in terms of issues in the clubhouse. In fact, this type of mentality from the Astros’ best relievers is an actually welcomed sight in my opinion. Regardless, the closing situation will likely be resolved in Florida before the team returns to Houston.
Position battles are scarce for once in the Astros camp, but there are few notable battles taking place, specifically first base. And while a case has been made for Jon Singleton, Tyler White, and A.J. Reed, there is one player who may have a pretty good shot at the job: Preston Tucker. This is defiantly worth keeping an eye on as Spring Training enters its first full week.
Rumors are still persistent, however, with the Astros reportedly showing interest in free agent reliever, Randy Choate. Another free agent, third baseman David Freese, has also been mentioned as possible fit for the Astros. Freese-To-Houston could hinge on the development of the first base situation (Luis Valbuena is a first base option, after all). Nothing concrete, but interesting thoughts to entertain.
And pay attention to Climbing Tal’s Hill ongoing series about the 2016 Astros projections. It’ll be a good read, I promise!
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"Day One of Astros Spring Training."
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