Astros' hitters take some live hacks

Astros' hitters take some live hacks

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- For the hitters, it's one of the worst days of camp. Astros batters stepped into the cage Monday morning and faced live pitchers for the first time this spring. The pitchers were throwing for the third time, so they are typically a little ahead of the curve.

"I felt pretty comfortable in the box actually, and I actually had some good results, but that doesn't mean anything right now," said catcher Jason Castro, who faced Fernando Rodriguez. "It's about getting reps, and it's good to see early on it felt pretty good."

The Astros' first three groups of pitchers threw to hitters, including Brett Myers, J.A. Happ and Wandy Rodriguez. Myers sawed off the bat of infielder Jimmy Paredes with the second pitch he threw, which was a common sight around the four fields.

"I was very happy with how it went, the rotations and the timing of it," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "The first day we try to get everything down and I thought it went really well."

Mills didn't see all the pitchers throw, but he said he liked what he saw from Jordan Lyles, Sergio Escalona, Arcenio Leon, Myers and Happ.

"There were a lot of guys I didn't have an opportunity to see, but it was nice to see them facing some hitters and throwing the ball well," Mills said.