KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- In a perfect world, Astros manager Bo Porter would like to avoid platoons. That could be hard to do in right field and at first base, where there are no clear-cut candidates in camp to be the starter at those spots. But he has four more weeks to work that out.
"As we stand here today, I'm hoping that we don't have to platoon any position," said Porter. "When you look around the diamond and you have everyday players, that puts you in the best position to actually be successful each and every day when you have those guys [who are capable of playing daily]. With that being said, we're going to do what's best for the ballclub once all these competitions play themselves out -- and if it's the best thing for the ballclub to platoon at a particular position, then we'll take that option at that time."
L.J. Hoes, J.D. Martinez, Marc Krauss and prospect George Springer are all vying for the right-field spot. Martinez can also play left field, Krauss can play first base and Springer, of course, came through the system as a center fielder.
"I don't think we're going to have a problem getting these guys enough at-bats to make that determination [of who starts]," Porter said.
At first base, Brett Wallace, Japhet Amador, Jesus Guzman and prospect Jonathan Singleton are competing for playing time. Chris Carter can also play first and left field, but he'll log the bulk of his time at designated hitter.
"We're looking for an everyday guy," Porter said. "We're looking for a guy we don't necessarily need to platoon -- a guy that, obviously, defense will be a priority. When you start to talk about young pitchers and improving your pitching, that starts with improving your defense, as well."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.