2/26/2015 | Astros hitters get first look at live pitching
One of the most challenging days of Spring Training for the hitters is when they step into the box for the first time against the pitchers, who have been in camp for nearly a week and had thrown two bullpen sessions prior to Thursday.
2/26/2015 | Back to school: Appel tasked with teammate report
Astros manager A.J. Hinch has given prospect Mark Appel the assignment of making a presentation about every player on the team, which means Appel has spent the past few mornings interviewing his teammates and taking notes in a small notebook.
2/26/2015 | Huge snake pays visit to Astros clubhouse
The Astros welcomed a guest into the clubhouse at Osceola County Stadium on Thursday morning that more than a few players hoped would have just stayed away. Before taking the field for the morning work, some players posed for photos with Sunshine, an 11-foot albino Burmese python from nearby attraction Gatorland.
2/26/2015 | Astros name architect for new Spring Training home
Astros general counsel Giles Kibbe said Thursday the team, the Nationals and Palm Beach County have selected HKS Architect, led by Mo Stein, to design the new two-team Spring Training facility they hope to open in 2017.
2/26/2015 | Astros want more than power from lineup
With the additions of Evan Gattis, Colby Rasmus, Jed Lowrie and Luis Valbuena, the Astros appear poised to have their deepest lineup in years with nine bats that are capable of driving in at least 50 runs, including several with legit power potential. One thing manager A.J. Hinch doesn't want, however, is a team that relies too much on the long ball.
2/25/2015 | Astros emphasize plan before springing into action
The Astros finally hit the field for the first full-squad workout of Spring Training when the position players joined the pitchers and catchers Wednesday morning, but not before hearing from owner Jim Crane, general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch.
2/25/2015 | Documentary to feature Altuve's meteoric rise
A crew from MLB Productions has been following Astros All-Star second baseman and 2014 American League batting champion Jose Altuve around for the last few months to gather footage for a documentary about him.
2/25/2015 | Astros' Crane: Goal is to make playoffs this season
Astros owner Jim Crane believes the roster additions made by general manager Jeff Luhnow and his staff this winter have put the club in position to possibly make the playoffs for the first time since it reached the World Series a decade ago and for the first time in the American League.
2/25/2015 | Head start: Correa's spring focus is baserunning
One of the things top prospect Carlos Correa wants to work on this spring is sliding into bases, which he hasn't done since he broke his right ankle sliding into third while playing for Class A Advanced Lancaster last summer. It was an injury that ended his season.
2/24/2015 | Astros taking health of their players to another level
In addition to the routine medical physicals each player undergoes each spring, the Astros and Houston Methodist, their long-time health care provider, this year are introducing a new sports medicine assessment designed to help prevent injuries and speed up recovery time when players are banged up.
2/24/2015 | Hamstring 'fine,' Fields tosses bullpen session
Astros right-hander Josh Fields threw in the bullpen Tuesday morning without any issues, he said. Fields had his second bullpen of the spring pushed back a day because tightness in his left hamstring that appears to have cleared up.
2/24/2015 | Bonding exercises helping Astros come together
Astros manager A.J. Hinch has been picking out a younger player to get up before the team in the clubhouse each morning to have him say some things about his background. Hinch also asks him some questions, some of which are designed to make him a tad uneasy. It's all done with the idea of building team chemistry, something that's even more essential this year with so many new faces in camp.
2/24/2015 | Hinch doesn't see added pressure for Altuve
Astros manager A.J. Hinch is in the envious position of inheriting Major League batting champion in Jose Altuve, who last year led the big leagues and set a club record with 225 hits while batting .341 to become the first Houston player to win a batting title. Hinch said Tuesday there's no pressure on Altuve to repeat.
2/23/2015 | Straily healthy, confident in bounceback season
Right-hander Dan Straily is competing for the fifth spot in the Astros' rotation, and if he pitches like he did with Oakland in 2013, he'll be the front-runner.
2/23/2015 | Lowrie, Valbuena find comfort in new surroundings
Jed Lowrie and Luis Valbuena, two of the Astros' new faces this offseason, reported to camp on Monday and felt some familiarity in their new clubhouse.
2/23/2015 | Flores thrilled for opportunity with Astros
The opportunity to play in Texas for the first time since he was at the University of Houston a decade ago has catcher Luis Flores thrilled to be wearing an Astros uniform.
2/23/2015 | Astros, MLB huddle to discuss pace-of-game rules
Peter Woodfork, Major League Baseball's senior vice president of baseball operation, and director of umpire development Rich Rieker, met with Astros manager A.J. Hinch and bench coach Trey Hillman for an hour Monday to further discuss baseball's new pace-of-play procedures to be implemented this year.
2/22/2015 | Qualls is grateful for Astros' offseason additions
Veteran reliever Chad Qualls is grateful for the additions the Astros made during the offseason.
2/22/2015 | Castro sees Neshek from different perspective
Astros catcher Jason Castro had faced sidearm-throwing right-hander Pat Neshek before, but trying to catch him proved to be a challenge in its own right.
2/22/2015 | Harris' move to Houston brings back faint memories
Harris, claimed off waivers from Arizona last year, grew up in Slidell, La., after moving from Houston when he was three or four years old. Still, he has some pictures of himself attending games at the Astrodome when he was little.
2/22/2015 | Peacock feels great after throwing off mound
Astros right-hander Brad Peacock, who underwent arthroscopic surgery Oct. 6 to repair a torn labrum and remove bone spurs in his right hip, threw off the mound Sunday for the first time since the surgery and said he felt great.
2/22/2015 | Astros taking advantage of 'getting to know you' stage
Astros manager A.J. Hinch finally got a good night's sleep Saturday now that camp is underway and much of the anxiety about the start of Spring Training has been calmed. The new-look Astros are still very much in the get-to-know-you stage, however, so Hinch is having daily team meetings in the morning.
2/21/2015 | Astros have plenty of options to fill closer's role
It's no secret the Astros made relief pitching their top priority in the spring, signing veterans Pat Neshek and Luke Gregerson to join Chad Qualls and Josh Fields at the back of the bullpen. They later added Joe Thatcher on a Minor League deal.
2/21/2015 | Hinch stressing communication between pitchers, catchers
Astros manager A.J. Hinch, a former catcher, is putting his catchers and pitchers through a communication station during the early days of camp. Each pitcher is taking his turn talking before the catchers to tell them about his arsenal, how he sets up hitters and other things Hinch might think will be useful.
2/21/2015 | Velasquez sidelined two to three weeks with lat injury
Astros pitching prospect Vincent Velasquez will be sidelined from throwing for at least the next two to three weeks while he recovers from a strained right lat injury suffered while playing in the Arizona Fall League on Nov. 4.
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