"The rehab's going well and going how it's supposed to from all the talk I've gotten with Dr. (James) Andrews and my physical therapist down here and Richie (Bancells)," Wieters said, per MASNsports.com. "Everything's kind of moved along and we're preparing for me to be ready for opening day. We still have a good couple of months before we're there, so it's still going to be a lot of work to put into it, but that's what I'm preparing for. We're trying to get all the steps checked off before we get there.
"We'll see when I'm actually going to be able to get behind the plate and catch in games during spring training, but it's just a matter of making sure the arm has been tested enough to where when we do get into games with adrenaline and a little bit of pressure that we're ready to go."
Wieters added making sure his shoulder is also in good shape is part of the rehab process coming off elbow surgery.
"(Monday) we went out to 150 just to test it out a little bit," he said, "and everything has kind of checked out and we've had nothing really major to set back the progression."Analysis:
"I really don't think there's much of a question going in there," Flowers said. "I would definitely say it's my job to lose. Barring an injury, there's really no doubt I'll be the guy catching opening day."
Flowers avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal, worth $2.675 million for this season. The 28-year-old hit .241/.297/.396 with 15 homers and 50 RBI over 407 at-bats in 2014.
"At this point, there's no reason to move off of that," general manager Rick Hahn said. "Competition is good. It brings out the best in people. And if someone comes in and fights for that job and earns it, I'm sure we'll be flexible. But certainly, we view Tyler as the starter."Analysis:
"I'm feeling great," Avila said. "After the season, there were a few days of just kind of relaxing, recovering from the concussion. After that, I was cleared by the doctors on everything. I feel great and moving along as normal."
Avilla will enter spring training without any restrictions. Manager Brad Ausmus indicated in December that he could see a lighter workload behind the plate in 2015. Because of the injuries, Avilla is open to wearing a hockey-style catcher's mask this season.
"I tried it one time my very first spring training in a bullpen," Avila said. "I didn't give it much of a chance. I never really thought how much of a difference it would make as far as kind of withstanding those impacts from the ball. But you live and you learn."
Avilla struggled last season, hitting just .218/.327/.359 over 390 at-bats. He noted that he never considered hanging up his cleats after a rough 2014 campaign.
"Never," Avila said. "That's never even crossed my mind."Analysis:
Soto is a 10-year MLB veteran. He spent the 2014 season with Texas and Oakland, batting .250 with one home run, six doubles and 11 RBI in 24 games. Soto missed a good portion of the season due to knee and foot injuries.Analysis:
In fact, Astros general manager Jeff Lunhow expects Gattis to occasionally play in left field, but to primarily play at first base and DH. Although, that doesn't bode well for playing time for Jon Singleton and Chris Carter.
“We don’t know what Gattis is going to look like in left field,” Luhnow said, per the Houston Chronicle. “If he’s good out there or adequate, I’m sure he’ll get some at-bats out there. Is he going to be our everyday left fielder? I can’t imagine that happening with the guys that we have, but we want to have that bat in the lineup.
“Guys that have options are going to have to prove to us that they belong in the big leagues. I don’t think it’s just Singleton. Like I said, we’ve got multiple options at every position on the diamond now. So, you know, players may not be playing their preferred position -- that puzzle will come together in spring training. We’re only guessing to try to figure it out right now.”Analysis:
Chirinos has appeared in 126 MLB games, starting 110. He hit .239 with 13 home runs, 15 doubles and 40 RBI in 93 games for Texas in 2014.Analysis:
Corporan was recently designated for assignment by the Astors. In 2014, he hit .235 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 170 at-bats.Analysis:
“Nothing is going to replace time spent together, and so I think from the get-go, we’re probably going to be spending a lot of time on the side, bullpens, playing catch so that he can get a feel for what that pitch does and see if he feels like it’s something he can do every day that I pitch, that’s 34 starts,” Dickey said.
Martin said he expects to be the catcher when Dickey starts and doesn't believe the knuckleball will be a problem.
Dickey went 14-13 in 2014, posting a 3.71 ERA in 215 2/3 innings.Analysis:
Conger hit .221 with four homers and 21 RBI over 231 at-bats in 2014. Sipp registered a 3.38 ERA, a 0.89 WHIP over 50 2/3 innings of work last season.Analysis: