KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- When pressed on Thursday about who he plans to use in the closer's role year, Astros manager Brad Mills remained non-committal. Mark Melancon spent most of the 2011 season at closer, but was shipped to the Red Sox in December.
"We're having discussions as we speak," Mills said. "We've talked about some things and talked about some guys as we go forward, and we're constantly doing that. We're talking about names and different guys we might give the opportunity and see how things go. It comes down to what we see in Spring Training and in some of these games, and also who we feel would do the best job."
The Astros, who converted only 25 of 50 save chances last year, have several candidates. Veteran closer Brandon Lyon could step back into the role, but he missed most of last year following major arm surgery. Youngster David Carpenter could also be an option.
For now, Mills isn't naming names.
"I don't think that would be fair to a lot of guys if I did that," he said. "I don't think we need to get into that right now. You can sit down and look at the roster and look at a lot of the names and go from there. There might be a couple of surprises here and there. We're going to hold off on that right now, and it will start clearing up in the next few weeks."