WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The sign-stealing scandal that dominated the offseason for the Astros -- and cost general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch their jobs -- dominated the storyline when camp opened this year, with the remaining players from the 2017 team apologizing Thursday with hopes of putting the episode behind them.
New manager Dusty Baker, who was hired last month, inherits a team built to win a championship this year as he chases his elusive World Series ring as a skipper. The Astros returned just about every key piece from last year’s team, which came within eight outs of winning a World Series, and Baker spent the first couple of days at camp getting up to speed on one of the most talented rosters he’s had as a manager.
“I still don’t know everybody’s name,” he said. “I got my [roster] card versus looking behind their back and trying to put bodies with names. Just trying to learn and trying to see who’s working hard and who’s dedicated and who’s who or whatever, or who I might need to put my arm around. That’s just part of my job. I’ve been told I don’t miss much, and the only way not to miss much is to be present.”
Here are some key dates and names to learn as the Astros get into the swing of Spring Training:
Full squad report date
First full-squad workout
New faces to know
C Dustin Garneau, RHP Austin Pruitt, LHP Blake Taylor
Top prospects to know
RHP Forrest Whitley (No. 19 overall per MLB Pipeline), RHP Bryan Abreu, 3B Abraham Toro, RHP Cristian Javier, RHP Brandon Bielak, RHP José Urquidy, RHP Enoli Paredes, C Garrett Stubbs, OF Ronnie Dawson
Where is the facility?
FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, West Palm Beach, Fla. (shared with the Nationals)
Can fans attend workouts?
Yes, at 8:30 a.m. CT daily beginning Feb. 13
Feb. 22, 5:05 p.m. CT, vs. Nationals (Astros are home team)
First TV game
Feb. 25, 11:05 p.m. CT, vs. the Marlins
Other notable games
March 5 vs. Red Sox, Fort Myers
March 14 vs. Red Sox, West Palm Beach
March 30 vs. Braves, West Palm Beach
Last game in Florida
March 22 vs. Marlins, Jupiter, Fla.
Any additional exhibitions before the regular season?
March 23-24 vs. Indians, Minute Maid Park
Opening Day date, time, opponent and location
March 26, 6:10 p.m. CT, vs. Angels, Minute Maid Park