KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- When Astros manager Bo Porter laid out candidates to begin the season as closer on Sunday, it was somewhat of a surprise to hear him mention right-hander Anthony Bass.
Bass, acquired in a trade with the Padres, certainly throws hard, but he doesn't have much experience at all closing out games. Bass has appeared in 75 career games (18 starts) with the Padres the previous three seasons, getting one save.
"I'm ready for whatever role they give me in the bullpen," Bass said. "It doesn't really matter to me. Every out is important in the game, whether it be the ninth inning, eighth, seventh, sixth, fifth, whatever. It's definitely something that I'd love to do one day. If that's what he wants, then I'll be ready."
During one of his spring outings earlier this month, Bass was hitting 93-96 mph with his fastball, 86-89 with his slider and 87 with his changeup, which Bass said is probably a little too strong.
"I've had a couple of rough [outings], but that's going to happen in the spring," Bass said. "You're trying to fine-tune everything now. My biggest thing is how my arm's feeling at this point now, and it's strong, healthy and no pain. The fastball is coming out nicely and the breaking ball is crisp. That's what I'm really focused on. The changeup is coming along. A little too firm, but working on slowing that down."
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.