KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Prior to Astros pitchers and catchers taking the field for the first time Sunday morning on the back fields at Osceola County Stadium, manager Bo Porter met with a group of veteran pitchers he identified as being the leaders of the staff.
Porter met with Lucas Harrell, Scott Feldman, Chad Qualls, Matt Albers, Jesse Crain, Jerome Williams and Peter Moylan and told them he wants them to set a good example for the youngsters. They'll also be involved in some of the morning meetings.
"This will be a camp in which we really stress the synergistic chemistry of the team and giving them some time each morning to bond together and communicate and talk and be with each other," Porter said. "That will take place at 9 o'clock every morning when we will close the doors and kind of let them guys have their own space. Last year we didn't' do that. We had the coaches run a lot of the meetings, but we're going to put the onus on some of the veterans we have here and let them display some leadership. We believe it will bring the team together that much faster."
The Astros, who had the youngest roster in the Majors at the end of last season, signed Albers, Qualls and Crain to fortify the bullpen and inked Feldman and Williams to join the rotation. Moylan is a non-roster invitee to camp. Harrell is back for his third year with the club.
"When you are a young player -- and we've all been there before -- you look around the clubhouse and say, 'Wow, this guy's been here 10 years. I wonder how he's been able to accomplish that?'" Porter said. "Because you're young, you're impressionable and you're going to watch that guy and watch that every move. I told those guys, 'You will do more by whatever it is you do than you do by whatever it is that you say.' So make sure that your actions match what it is you're saying each and every day."