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Astros to use UH, Hooks park as training sites

@alysonfooter
June 30, 2020

HOUSTON -- The Astros will utilize playing fields at the University of Houston as an alternate training site for Summer Camp, and after the regular season starts, the club will work out at Whataburger Field, home of the Double-A Hooks, in Corpus Christi. The announcement came in the wake of

HOUSTON -- The Astros will utilize playing fields at the University of Houston as an alternate training site for Summer Camp, and after the regular season starts, the club will work out at Whataburger Field, home of the Double-A Hooks, in Corpus Christi.

The announcement came in the wake of Tuesday's official cancellation of the 2020 Minor League Baseball season.

The Astros will use both Minute Maid Park and the UH location in an effort to socially distance their players and staff as the team begins to prepare for the truncated 60-game season that is scheduled to begin on July 23 or 24. Workout times will be staggered in an effort to minimize the number of players interacting with one another. When the regular season starts, the roughly 30 players in the Astros' player pool who aren't on the big league roster will work at Whataburger Field.

The Astros received special permission from Major League Baseball to have the camp outside the 100-mile radius of Minute Maid Park. While fans will not be permitted at the ballpark to watch training sessions, the Hooks plan to produce baseball content on their social channels.

“With student-athletes returning to the UH campus in August, we will host our regular season taxi squad in Corpus Christi beginning July 25,” Astros general manager James Click said. “Whataburger Field, the home of our Double-A affiliate Corpus Christi Hooks, is a great facility, with new player development amenities, and within driving distance to Houston. Several of our players are familiar with the city, and we believe it will work well for us.”

Astros FAQ: Details on the upcoming season

At UH, Don Sanders Field at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park, as well as the new Houston Baseball Player Development Center, will be utilized by approximately 30 players during workouts. The development center is brand new, and includes indoor batting cages, pitching mounds, an agility field and weight room. The Astros are scheduled to utilize the facility from approximately July 2-24.

"The University of Houston has one of the finest college baseball facilities in the country," Click said. "Our Major League staff was extremely impressed by it. We're fortunate to have the UH campus in such close proximity to Minute Maid Park and to have a facility which will allow us to continue to focus on our top priority -- the safety of our players and staff -- while also providing our players every advantage as they get ready to compete for a championship in 2020.

FAQ: All you need to know about 2020 season

"I would like to thank vice president for athletics Chris Pezman, deputy AD David Tagliarino and coach Todd Whitting for accommodating us. We are very excited to call UH our 2020 alternate Spring Training home."

On Sunday, the Astros announced a player pool of 56 players that will prepare for the 2020 season, leaving them four open spots to fill in the future if they choose to do so. Of the 56 players, 26 are position players and 30 are pitchers.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.