Top prospect Correa leaves mark with excellent spring

Talented shortstop sent down, feels 'really close' to reaching Majors

Top prospect Correa leaves mark with excellent spring

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- For the second year in a row, shortstop Carlos Correa made the long walk from the Major League clubhouse to the players' parking lot while carrying his equipment after being reassigned Sunday. It's a sight we might never see again.

Correa, the Astros' top prospect, will finish the spring in Minor League camp in advance of beginning the season at Double-A Corpus Christi, but his performance in front of the Major League staff has only bolstered the belief he's bound for stardom.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros kept off board against hot-hitting Yankees

No. 2 starter Feldman, Peacock each charged with three runs

Astros kept off board against hot-hitting Yankees

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Chase Headley went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs to back another strong outing from Nathan Eovaldi to help the Yankees beat the Astros, 7-0, on Sunday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.

Alex Rodriguez made his debut at first base for the Yankees and went 1-for-1 with a walk and a run scored while playing four innings.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

X-ray reveals no broken bones in Hoes' wrist

Outfielder competing with Presley, Grossman for spot on 25-man roster

X-ray reveals no broken bones in Hoes' wrist

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros outfielder L.J. Hoes was able to breathe a sigh of relief Sunday when an X-ray performed on his right wrist showed no broken bones. Hoes was hit on the wrist by a pitch Saturday, and he was held out of baseball drills Sunday.

"It was a good sign and we're really happy he avoided anything bigger than being sore after taking a 90-plus mph fastball off of it," manager A.J. Hinch said. "It's still sore for him, but I think we can have a sigh of relief we avoided the big one."

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peacock excited to be back in action after surgery

Astros righty allows four runs over two-thirds of an inning in Grapefruit League debut

Peacock excited to be back in action after surgery

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The results certainly weren't what he wanted, but Astros right-hander Brad Peacock had reason to be happy Sunday afternoon. The right-hander got his first taste of Grapefruit League action this spring when he threw 30 pitches in a 7-0 loss to the Yankees at Osceola County Stadium.

Peacock gave up four runs (three earned), two walks and two hits in two-thirds of an inning. He's still building up his pitch count after reporting to camp behind his teammates because he had hip surgery in October and was dormant for a few weeks.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Correa, Dominguez among 8 Astros sent to Minors

Righty Deduno makes club as long man, leaving one bullpen spot available

Correa, Dominguez among 8 Astros sent to Minors

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Astros trimmed their active roster by eight Sunday morning, sending shortstop and top prospect Carlos Correa to Minor League camp. Matt Dominguez, who was the team's starting third baseman the past two years, was also sent down.

Correa, the former No. 1 overall Draft pick and a budding star, was reassigned and will begin the season at Double-A Corpus Christi. The Astros also informed relievers Darin Downs and James Hoyt, infielder Gregorio Petit and catcher Tyler Heineman that they wouldn't make the team but would remain on the big league roster through the end of camp.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hernandez makes Astros' decision on rotation a tough one

Right-hander is 3-0 with a 3.71 ERA in five games this spring

Hernandez makes Astros' decision on rotation a tough one

JUPITER, Fla. -- Roberto Hernandez made the most of his final chance to audition for the fifth spot in the Astros' starting pitching rotation Saturday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium by holding the Marlins to three hits, two walks and one run in five innings.

The veteran right-hander, who is battling with rookie Asher Wojciechowski for the spot, appears to be the front-runner. Wojciechowski is scheduled to make his final Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, but the Astros have to decide whether to keep Hernandez or pay him a $100,000 retention bonus prior to Tuesday's game, so a decision will be made before.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With spot in 'pen assured, Sipp focused on preparing for season

Left-hander began '14 in Triple-A El Paso after not making Padres

With spot in 'pen assured, Sipp focused on preparing for season

JUPITER, Fla. -- After unsuccessfully battling for a spot in the Padres' bullpen last spring, left-hander Tony Sipp entered camp this year as a lock to make the Astros. So much so that he had pitched three times in Minor League games before finally getting back on the mound in Grapefruit League action with an inning of work Saturday against the Marlins.

Sipp began last year at Triple-A El Paso before the Astros picked him up in early May, and he immediately became one of their most dependable arms. He went 4-3 with a 3.38 ERA with four saves in 56 games, posting the second-lowest opponents' average by a relief pitcher in Astros history (.157).

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Conger, Hernandez work well together against Marlins

Catcher hits second spring homer; right-hander goes five strong

Conger, Hernandez work well together against Marlins

JUPITER, Fla. -- Most of the Marlins regulars were able to get four plate appearances on Saturday, and Giancarlo Stanton delivered a single and scored a run. But Miami was unable to cash in on an eighth-inning threat in a 1-1 tie against the Houston Astros at Roger Dean Stadium.

Miami threatened to snap the deadlock in the eighth inning when Christian Yelich and Stanton each singled to open the inning. But lefty Kevin Chapman was able to work out of trouble.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros hope to finalize roster by end of camp

Status of Fields, position players still up in air

Astros hope to finalize roster by end of camp

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch said he would like to have his 25-man roster set prior to breaking camp on Wednesday, but that might not be possible. One issue that might carry over into next weekend is the health of reliever Josh Fields, who's not throwing off the mound because of a groin strain.

Fields is a lock to be on the team when he's healthy, but the decision on whether he'll be able to make the Opening Day roster might linger into next weekend's exhibition games in Houston against the defending American League champion Royals. Houston also plays an exhibition on Thursday at its Double-A affiliate in Corpus Christi, Texas.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Singleton working to simplify swing, end slump

Slugger putting in extra reps to make Opening Day roster

Singleton working to simplify swing, end slump

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros first baseman Jon Singleton, who's fighting to win a spot on the club on Opening Day, worked for 40 minutes in the batting cage Thursday with hitting coach Dave Hudgens and bench coach Trey Hillman hitting balls thrown rapidly from short distances.

The purpose was to take the body out of the swing so Singleton can focus on his hands as the Astros try to find a way to get him on track. After a hot start this spring, Singleton has cooled off, putting him in danger of not breaking camp with the club next week.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rain doesn't derail Keuchel's Opening Day preparation

Astros' starter gets early call, in Minor League game

Rain doesn't derail Keuchel's Opening Day preparation

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Rain may have forced the cancellation of Friday's game against the Marlins, but Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel was still able to get his work in.

The Astros, anticipating a possible rainout, had Keuchel throw six innings in a Minor League game on Friday morning on the back fields at Osceola County Stadium. Manager A.J. Hinch said it was important he pitched today to keep him on schedule to throw Wednesday's Grapefruit League finale and then on Opening Day.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Hal Bodley

Hinch's approach perfect fit for young Astros

First-year manager not setting any goals, just taking things game by game

Hinch's approach perfect fit for young Astros

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Nothing puts the current status of the Houston Astros in perspective better than the cover photo on their 2015 media guide.

There's Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, grimacing and holding his batting helmet high -- a fitting reminder of the Astros' glory days. Below, in Biggio's shadow, is young Jose Altuve, face of the Astros' future.

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Hal Bodley is the senior correspondent for MLB.com. Follow him @halbodley on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wojciechowski, Hernandez final 2 candidates for rotation job

Wojciechowski, Hernandez final 2 candidates for rotation job

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- And then there were two.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Thursday only two candidates remain for the fifth spot in the starting rotation -- rookie Asher Wojciechowski and veteran Roberto Hernandez. Hinch said Samuel Deduno is "trending towards" being used in a long-relief role, but Hinch wouldn't go as far as to say Deduno has made the club, though.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros unveil the chicken and waffle cone

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Astros unveil the chicken and waffle cone

Have you ever been in the mood for chicken and waffles, but because of your hectic and busy schedule, don't have time to sit down for a meal? Are you at a large sporting event and lack a table and utensils with which to eat your meal? Well, have no fear: The Astros are happy to solve that little issue. 

From the makers of the BBQ baked potato, arguably the most delicious ballpark food of 2014, comes the resplendent chicken and waffles cone. 

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Buchanan wasting little time in between pitches

Wojciechowski also in 99th percentile, but Fields ranks toward bottom

Buchanan wasting little time in between pitches

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Astros, like all other teams, are receiving weekly reports from Major League Baseball regarding pace of play this spring. For the week of March 16-22, Houston's pitchers ranked seventh in the Major Leagues in average time between pitches.

Jake Buchanan and Asher Wojciechowski were especially fast when it came to time between pitches. Buchanan was first on the team at 5.9 seconds between pitches, and Wojciechowski was at 6.0, putting both in the 99th percentile among pitchers for the week. Josh Fields (14.7 seconds between pitches) was in the second percentile.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros trade non-roster invitee Johnson to Reds

Astros trade non-roster invitee Johnson to Reds

The Astros traded first baseman Dan Johnson to the Reds on Wednesday in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

A nine-year Major League veteran, Johnson appeared in 14 games for Houston this spring as a non-roster invite. He was hitting .158 (3-for-19) with six walks.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Villar day to day; Grossman could return soon

Hinch anticipates both players will 'be fine' following outfield collision

Villar day to day; Grossman could return soon

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros infielder/outfielder Jonathan Villar was held out of Thursday's brief morning workout at Osceola County Stadium after suffering a mild right ankle sprain in an outfield collision Wednesday with teammate Robbie Grossman.

Grossman, who suffered a bruised left quad on the play, was able to work out with the team and could return to game action on Friday, though manager A.J. Hinch said he would likely keep Grossman out another day. Both players are trying to make the club in a reserves role.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Aiken undergoes Tommy John surgery

Left-hander went unsigned after Astros selected him in 2014 Draft

Aiken undergoes Tommy John surgery

The Brady Aiken saga has taken another turn. Aiken, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft and a top prospect for this year's Draft, underwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday.

Aiken made the announcement himself today, via the website theplayerstribune.com, which was founded by fellow Excel Sports Management client Derek Jeter. Aiken said he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow and had it repaired by Dr. David Altcheck at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Correa, Conger go yard as Astros beat Phillies

Wojciechowski makes strong case to win rotation job with solid start

Correa, Conger go yard as Astros beat Phillies

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa powered the Astros to a 7-1 victory over the Phillies on Wednesday at Bright House Field.

Correa, who is the Astros' top prospect, doubled to score a run in the second inning and hit a solo home run to left field in the fourth inning against Phillies right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, who is competing for the fifth spot in Philadelphia's rotation.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Check out his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wojciechowski makes strong bid for rotation job

Wojciechowski makes strong bid for rotation job

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- With another strong performance under his belt, Astros rookie right-hander Asher Wojciechowski is making a serious push for a spot in the starting rotation.

Wojciechowski helped his chances of winning the final spot in the rotation by allowing one run and four hits with no walks and four strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings of Wednesday's 7-1 win over the Phillies at Bright House Field. He's competing with Roberto Hernandez and Samuel Deduno, who threw two scoreless innings in relief.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Singleton not worried about securing roster spot

Singleton not worried about securing roster spot

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- He's been considered a key piece in how the Astros will determine the shape of their roster since the start of camp, and with only a week remaining before the club leaves Florida, first baseman Jon Singleton believes he's in a good spot.

After going 0-for-4 in Wednesday's 7-1 win over the Phillies at Bright House field, Singleton's batting average fell to .244 (10-for-41) with no homers and four RBIs. He's getting plenty of chances at first base, where the Astros have options with Chris Carter and perhaps Evan Gattis capable of starting if he doesn't make the club.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A teenager asked Jason Castro to prom by mistake

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A teenager asked Jason Castro to prom by mistake

Remember what it was like to be a teen? (Unless you are still a teen, in which case, please explain Kik to us.) Before you know it, it's time to ask someone to prom. Since this is the Internet Age, the more spectacular your prom-posal, the better. And if you can involve an MLB star, you definitely score extra points.

Or, you know what? Why not just ask a professional baseball player to be your date in the first place?

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Fields to play catch, but staying off mound for now

Fields to play catch, but staying off mound for now

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Astros right-hander Josh Fields won't throw off the mound for the next few days after leaving Monday's game against the Braves with a right groin strain, manager A.J. Hinch said on Wednesday.

Hinch hadn't seen Fields since he passed him Tuesday morning at the complex in Kissimmee when Hinch was on his way Port St. Lucie. Fields didn't make the trip on Tuesday for Wednesday's game against the Phillies in Clearwater because he wasn't going to pitch.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros' bats come through behind McHugh

Righty fans seven; Marisnick complements Valbuena's two-hit day with homer

Astros' bats come through behind McHugh

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- David Wright continued his hot month at the plate with a two-run homer off former teammate Collin McHugh on Tuesday in the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Astros at Tradition Field.

Wright's drive in the third inning was one of only two hits the Mets mustered all day, and both came off McHugh, who struck out seven in five innings. McHugh's Mets counterpart, fifth starter Dillon Gee, worked four scoreless innings.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rasmus gaining comfort re-learning left field

Natural center fielder boosting value to club with reps at his rookie position

Rasmus gaining comfort re-learning left field

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- It's been six years since Colby Rasmus played left field in a Major League game. That was during his rookie season in 2009, when he appeared in only seven games in left for the Cardinals. Rasmus has been primarily a center fielder since, but the Astros have asked him this spring to get reacquainted with left field.

Rasmus, who signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Astros over the offseason, is taking it slow as he gets used to seeing the ball fly off the bat from a different angle. The Astros will play him in both left and center this year, but they're focusing on left in the spring because of his lack of experience there.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McHugh champing at bit to follow up breakout year

Right-hander trying to sharpen command of changeup as season draws near

McHugh champing at bit to follow up breakout year

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The regular season can't come soon enough for Astros right-hander Collin McHugh.

"I'm ready, man. I'm excited," McHugh said. "We've gotten through almost five weeks of camp at this point, and all of us are itching to get to Houston and get some games started and hit the ground running."

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Defensive versatility Villar's best chance at spot

With better options at shortstop, Astros ask speedy infielder to learn new positions

Defensive versatility Villar's best chance at spot

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Astros' Jonathan Villar has put himself squarely in the mix to break camp with the team due to his performance so far on both sides of the ball. The Astros are giving Villar, a shortstop by trade, a look at third base and second base, as well as even center field.

If he's going to make the club in a backup role, Villar must prove he can do more than just play shortstop, where he started on Opening Day last year, with mixed results. The Astros signed Jed Lowrie to a three-year deal during the offseason and have top prospect Carlos Correa closing in on the Majors, so Villar's window to start at shortstop in Houston has essentially closed.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros' next spring home on target for 2017 debut

Owner shares update on construction of shared facility before board meeting

Astros' next spring home on target for 2017 debut

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Astros owner Jim Crane and about two dozen of his ownership partners joined club president of business operations Reid Ryan at Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Mets at Tradition Field, which is a short drive from Crane's Floridian National Golf Club in Palm City, Fla.

On Tuesday night, Crane and his board of directors were scheduled to hold a quarterly meeting in which general manager Jeff Luhnow was slated to give an overview of the club. Astros manager A.J. Hinch and the coaching staff were spending the night at the Floridian as well.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.