On Wednesday, the Houston Astros began live batting practice sessions that included major league and minor league talent going head-to-head. Among this advancement in practice, Chandler Rome reported that Alex Bregman (hamstring) and Yordan Alvarez (knee) haven’t been seeing much action in the fielding drills, while Abraham Toro is taking most of the reps at third base.
The Astros also have finally welcomed in prospects Forrest Whitley and Korey Lee for the first time during spring training due to intake protocol. While spring training is coming into full swing, Houston is expecting big things from other players like Jose Urquidy, who is wanting to pitch 200+ innings in 2021. A full season for this right-hander will finally give a full evaluation on the talent and ceiling he might have.
The Houston Astros have begun live batting practice, as they move forward in spring training.
Bregman has hit the plate today, after having a regressed ’20 campaign. The Astros third baseman looks to bounce back, but a “slight tweak” in his hamstring has led him to not working out with the major league team early in spring training. This type of injury sidelined the All-Star in the middle of a shortened season, but after an offseason full of individual workouts, Bregman is looking bigger and is wanting to show out in 2021. On Twitter, the third baseman said he would be ready for a game, but Baker said he always says that.
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The Astros are also hopeful of a big return from Yordan Alvarez, who only played two games in 2020 due to knee injuries. The left-hander was throwing the ball around this week, but no further progressions were occurring in the field. With the loss of George Springer, the Astros will look to Alvarez’s bat in hopes that he can replace those numbers in the lineup. In the midst of inter-league play, Houston could possibly use Alvarez in the outfield or at first base to keep his heavy bat in the lineup, but this might take time to ramp up after his knee injuries. Manager Dusty Baker is also hoping for a bounce back season from Carlos Correa, while he hopes him and Alvarez will contribute great numbers to the lineup.
Lance McCullers Jr. has entered spring training with vengeance like many other players, but he is trying to prove that he deserves a possible extension or a new contract come free agency. The right-hander has expressed his gratitude to the city and his want to return to the Astros. McCullers and Jose Altuve were among the players going head-to-head today.
General Manager James Click did mention that the Astros do not see the offseason ending until Opening Day. This means they could still be shopping or browsing the market to feel needs within the 26-man roster. The team has become huge within the aspect of adding versatility to their players. One of of the more recent moves was with Garrett Stubbs working out in left field and at second base, but as of today, non-roster invite Steven Souza Jr. has been taking reps at first base. The outfielder hasn’t played a single inning at the position in his MLB career.