Astros pitching prospects combine to excel

February 25, 2018

It’s good to see familiar faces return to the field after a long, slow offseason. But it’s thrilling to watch top prospects show intensity this early in the spring. On the second full day of Spring Training, all eyes were on two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball, in his pitching debut against the Brewers. The much-anticipated outing featured electric talent and potential for growth. It’s…

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Kemp keeps positive attitude in battle for roster

February 24, 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Tony Kemp got married in Jamaica in the offseason and purchased his first house in Nashville, Tenn. He watched Game 7 of the World Series nervously from his in-laws’ house, cheering for his teammates and refusing to draw an easy breath until the final out was made. As good as life has been for Kemp in the last few months, a spot on the Astros’…

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Armenteros brings heat in spring opener

February 23, 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — His reputation of being a strikeout machine showed early for Astros prospect Rogelio Armenteros when he struck out the first two batters he faced in Friday’s 3-2 win over the Nationals in the Grapefruit League opener at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. That set the tone for a crisp two-inning outing for Armenteros, who allowed one walk and struck out three batters without allowing a…

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MLB announces pace of play initiatives for '18

February 19, 2018

Major League Baseball will implement new pace of play rules for the 2018 season, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Monday, but there will be no pitch clock this season. After consulting with the MLB Players Association and all 30 clubs, MLB announced its slate of rules changes, among them a limit on mound visits per game. Major League Baseball will implement new pace of play rules for the 2018 season, Commissioner…

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Out of options, Stassi aiming for roster spot

February 16, 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Unless there are injuries this spring, it appears there will be only one spot available for a position player to make the Astros’ roster when the regular season starts. The decision for manager A.J. Hinch will come down to carrying a third catcher or an extra infielder/outfielder, such as Tyler White or Tony Kemp. Veteran Brian McCann returns as the starter, with Evan Gattis again…

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Gose brings confidence, 100-mph heat to camp

February 15, 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — One thing that Anthony Gose doesn’t lack is confidence. Gose, the former Major League outfielder, is hoping his electric left arm can keep his career alive in an unlikely second act as a relief pitcher. The Astros took him in the Rule 5 Draft from the Rangers in December, hoping Gose can harness his 100-mph fastball to win a job in the defending World Series…

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McHugh wins arb case; to compete for rotation

February 15, 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — For the second year in a row, right-hander Collin McHugh won his arbitration case against the Astros. McHugh, who had his hearing in Phoenix on Tuesday, found out Thursday afternoon the arbitration panel had ruled in his favor. He will make $5 million this year; the Astros were offering $4.55 million. “It’s not always a comfortable process,” McHugh said Thursday prior to finding out the…

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Verlander: 'American League goes through us'

February 15, 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Justin Verlander doesn’t care for your opinion. He also doesn’t care who the Yankees picked up — 2017 National League Most Valuable Player Giancarlo Stanton, by the way — or that the Indians will be a deep and dangerous club. “I think the American League goes through us,” Verlander said Wednesday after working out with Astros pitchers and catchers for the first time at the…

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Bregman's Valentine's delivery: iPads for kids

February 14, 2018

HOUSTON — It’s almost time for Alex Bregman to head to Florida for Spring Training, but on Wednesday, he had one more local stop to make before his offseason officially came to a close. The Astros’ third baseman dropped by Central Elementary in Angleton, where he delivered free iPads to a group of young students with special needs. This project, funded by Gulf Coast Auto Park and Bregman’s foundation, AB…

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