KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Few players in the Astros' clubhouse can say they've been on as many consecutive Opening Day rosters as non-roster outfielder Travis Buck, who is trying to make a team out of spring camp for the sixth year in a row.
Buck, 28, cracked the Opening Day roster with the A's from 2007-10, and last year with the Indians after coming to camp as a non-roster invitee. He batted .228 with two homers and 18 RBIs last year with Cleveland and appeared in 36 games at Triple-A.
"I know I'm one good year away from something big," Buck said. "I have all the confidence in my abilities that I will make the club. I've been on five Opening Day rosters the last five years, and that wasn't by default. I earned my way on there, and now it's just a matter of earning another spot this year and staying up there the whole year, which I haven't done in a while."
Buck, selected by Oakland with the No. 36 overall pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, can play all three outfield positions and swings left-handed, which helps his case to make the club.
"I really think now the National League is where I belong," he said. "I figured out my swing. I have confidence, and now it's about going out there and trusting your game plan every time up there. This game is about confidence. The more confidence you get, the better you're going to do.
"For me, being in the National League, if I have a great camp and make the team, my chances of playing every day are good, whether it's pinch-hitting or as a defensive replacement. I think this is a really good spot for me in a great organization."
Astros roving Minor League hitting instructor Ty Van Burkleo was Buck's hitting coach in Oakland, and he's played for Triple-A manager Tony DeFrancesco.