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Nameless jerseys are team-first message

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- This isn't exactly the best year for the Astros to not put the names of players on the backs of their Spring Training jerseys. After all, only 22 of the 61 players in camp this year were at camp a year ago, and the 40-man roster has seen a 50-percent turnover since the end of the season.

Still, manager Bo Porter told the players on the first day of camp he wants them to earn the names across their backs by making the club on Opening Day. Until then, it's numbers only on the backs of the team's jerseys.

"It was explained to the players exactly why," Porter said. "The name on the front [is what] matters, and we have 25 guys that will earn the right to have the name put on the back, and that will be the 25 men that will make this ballclub. It definitely was done by design. It's a message sent to them that it's all about the Astros."

The players were on board with the notion.

"Bo said we have to earn our names when we get to the big leagues," pitcher Rudy Owens said. "It makes sense and gives you something to look forward to."

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