Astros in no hurry to officially set outfield

Astros in no hurry to officially set outfield

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Aside from Justin Maxwell starting in center field, not much is clear about what the Astros' outfield will look like on Opening Day.

The club's two newcomers, Chris Carter and Rick Ankiel, will get serious looks for the jobs in left and right field, respectively, but J.D. Martinez and Fernando Martinez are in the mix as well. Brandon Barnes also figures in as a fifth-outfielder type, with his combination of speed and superb defense.

"I answer this question the same way every time," manager Bo Porter said when asked about the outfield competition. "We're at March 13, we don't play until March 31. The competitions that we have going on will be ongoing, not just during Spring Training, but in the season. Nobody is going to win the job in one day or lose the job in one day because they go 0-for-4 or 0-for-3."

Though Porter said the club is happy with its current pool of outfielders, the Astros will likely at least take a look at outfielder Brennan Boesch. Boesch, released Wednesday by the Tigers, hit .240 with 12 home runs and 54 RBIs last year. Overall, the 27-year-old is a .259 hitter with 42 long balls in his three big league seasons.

"We take a close look at all players that become available," general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a text message when asked about potential interest in Boesch. "[It's] part of our process."

Paul Casella is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.