KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- With a little more than two weeks remaining before the start of the regular season, Astros manager Bo Porter said Sunday the team still isn't any closer to identifying a closer.
Porter's preference is to leave camp with one person handling the closing job, but he didn't rule out having a closer by committee to start the year. Josh Fields closed as a rookie for a bit in the second half of last year, but veteran Chad Qualls has the most experience in the role with the D-backs in 2009-10.
"Let's just say, I would hope that within the next two weeks from a staff standpoint we feel confident in one of those guys to make that decision," Porter said. "If we left Spring Training today, I feel like it would be a closer-by-committee situation, and as the course of the season goes along, the player will tell you who should man that position."
Porter did say hard-throwing right-hander Anthony Bass has emerged as a candidate to close, along with Fields, Qualls, Matt Albers and lefty Kevin Chapman.
"It will still shake out as we finish the rest of this spring and as we get into the course of the season," Porter said. "We have several guys down there that we [think] are capable of manning that position, and I think it will be based on an in-game situation based on matchups of who we would use that particular day, and hopefully at some point of the season, we have one of those guys take the bull by the horn and man the ninth inning each and every night."
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.