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AL West Standings
Team W L Pct GB RS RA Diff Home Road East Cent West L10 Strk E#
Oakland3624.6002742324222-1014-140-00-026-145-5W1
Houston2931.4837279275420-89-230-00-019-214-6L3E
Seattle2733.4509254303-4914-1013-230-00-020-205-5L1E
Anaheim2634.43310294321-2716-1510-190-00-019-216-4L3E
Arlington2238.36714224312-8816-146-240-00-016-244-6W3E

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Astros 2




February 25 - This Date in Astros History
February 25 - This Date in Astros History
February 25

2009 - Third base prospect Chris Johnson mashes a home run estimated at up to 600 feet in the 6-3 victory over the Washington Nationals that opens the spring schedule. Reclamation projects Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz get off to good starts, each tossing a pair of shutout innings. It will be three weeks before they win another Grapefruit League game.
1994 - Former Houston manager Leo Durocher is selected by the Veterans Committee into the Baseball Hall of Fame along with Yankee legend Phil Rizzuto. The fiery Durocher had died in 1991, claiming he no longer cared whether he would get inducted. His nearly 50-year career in baseball included 15 seasons as a player and 23 as a manager. His last was with the Astros in 1973.
1988 - Unwanted in Houston, 40-year-old Jose Cruz signs with the New York Yankees, ending an impressive 13-year run as an Astro. Houston will receive a compensation draft pick for the free agent signing.
1951 - Cesar Cedeno is born in Santo Domingo, DR. Considered the franchise's first superstar, Cedeno has twelve fascinating and sometimes frustrating seasons in Houston (1970-1981) and is a member of the 35th Anniversary All-Astros team.
1939 - Denver Lemaster is born in Corona, CA. The lefthander compiles a 30-46 record with six saves and a 3.40 ERA in four years under the Dome (1968-1971).



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SPRING CALENDAR

Date      Opp      Result
2/28      MIA       ----
3/01     #WSH       ----
3/02     @NYM       ----
3/03      off        --
3/04      STL*      ----
3/05     @MIA       ----
3/06      NYM*      ----
3/07     @STL       ----
3/08      off        --
3/09     #WSH*      ----
3/10     @MIA*      ----
3/11      NYM*      ----
3/12     @STL*      ----
3/13      off        --
3/14     #WSH       ----
3/15     @MIA       ----
3/16     @NYM       ----
3/17      STL*      ----
3/18      off        --
3/19     #WSH*      ----
3/20     @STL       ----
3/21     @MIA       ----
3/22      NYM       ----
3/23      off        --
3/24     #WSH*      ----
3/25      STL*      ----
3/26      MIA*      ----
3/27     @NYM       ----
3/28      off        --
3/29     #WSH       ----

* - night game
# - at W. Palm Beach

Spring record:     - 

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Houston Astros recap - 02/19/21 - Most Pitchers, Catchers Report
Most Pitchers, Catchers Report
Promising News On James, Abreu

James: Hoping for May return
(c) Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle
With much of Texas suffering bitter cold, including power and water outages for some, motivation shouldn't be needed for Astros pitchers and catchers to report to their South Florida training camp on time. The doors opened Thursday for the 2021 season, one in which Houston hopes to regain their AL West championship.

Being the ace of the staff has its privileges and, for veteran Zack Greinke, that includes working out near his Orlando home which he will do until the mandatory report date of February 27th, one day before the Grapefruit League opener on the 28th against the Nationals.

Manager Dusty Baker reports Greinke did the same thing last spring and is unconcerned, knowing how hard Greinke works to stay in shape.

It's not uncommon for a few players to show up late, typically some of the Latinos who experience visa issues returning to the States. It's a typical spring non-story since the players are almost always able to answer the bell when the games begin.

Pitcher Josh James is reportedly responding well to last year's hip surgery and is now projected to return to action some time in May. That leaves Justin Verlander as the only pitcher who is expected to be sent to the 60-day injured list as soon as the Astros need to make an addition to their 40-man roster.

Pitcher Austin Pruitt is not expected to be ready for the April 1st season opener but is a candidate for the 10-day injured list, not the 60-day list.

With the catchers and pitchers mostly in camp, here's a rundown of what to expect from both positions:

The catching duties will likely be shared by veterans Martin Maldonado and Jason Castro. Castro's lefty bat is likely to face mostly righthanders while Maldonado will face pitchers from both sides. Historically, he does better at the plate against lefties. Garrett Stubbs waits in the wings as the third catcher. Former first-rounder Korey Lee gets to resume his progress in the minors.

The starting five are slated to be Greinke, Lance McCullers, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier and Jose Urquidy - all righthanders except Valdez. Urquidy has never thrown more than 125 innings in one season as a professional (and that was in 2016), so it's likely he'll be shut down around 150 innings even if he stays healthy. In fact, everyone but Greinke are candidates for early shutdown so some additional arms will be needed over the course of the 162-game season.

Pruitt could be asked to step into a replacement role, as could Brandon Bielak, Luis Garcia and top prospect Forrest Whitley.

The bullpen is more of a jumble where a good spring may be the ticket to making the 26-man Opening Day roster. Ryan Pressly will likely get the closer role while veterans Joe Smith, Pedro Baez and non-roster invitee Steve Cishek vie for set-up roles with youngsters Enoli Paredes and Andre Scrubb. Returnees Blake Taylor and Brooks Raley will handle the lefthander spots in the pen. Free agent Ryne Stanek, along with returnees Bryan Abreu and Nivaldo Rodriguez, have outside shots of cracking the roster.

Abreu was limited last season after a promising end to 2019 because, according to Baker, he was overweight and out-of-shape when he showed up for camp and was ineffective. Now slimmed down and in condition at the start of camp, Abreu is hoping to regain management's favor with a sparkling spring in West Palm.

The regular non-battery players are due to report early next week.

>- Bob Hulsey



Houston Baseball: The Early Years 1861-1961
(click to order)

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