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Astros' brass appreciates club's hard work

HOUSTON -- Astros owner Jim Crane and general manager Jeff Luhnow each took time prior to Tuesday's season-opening game against the Yankees to address the team and wish them good luck this year. Manager Bo Porter talked to the club as a whole on Sunday.

"We have a lot of new guys, and we told them all,' Congratulations' and 'We appreciate the hard work, including the staff,'" Crane said. "They really worked hard this spring. We want them to play hard and keep their heads down and wished them good luck."

The Astros have only nine players who were on their Opening Day roster last year, and 14 players on their current 25-man roster were acquired via trades. Only four players were on the club's Opening Day roster in 2012.

"We told the guys we think the organization is on the way up," Crane said.

Luhnow added that he could sense more excitement surrounding the team this year. The Astros have the youngest roster in the Major Leagues with an average age of 26.9 years.

"This group should be around for a while," Luhnow said. "I think that's the difference between this group and the one from last year and the year before: Everybody sort of knew there was going to be players coming and going, but this group has a chance to be around for a while."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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