HOUSTON -- General manager Jeff Luhnow said he doesn't expect the Astros to make any additional moves before the start of Spring Training in 3 1/2 weeks, though they continue to monitor the market for starting pitching and left-handed relief.The Astros, who will see pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14
HOUSTON -- General manager Jeff Luhnow said he doesn't expect the Astros to make any additional moves before the start of Spring Training in 3 1/2 weeks, though they continue to monitor the market for starting pitching and left-handed relief.
The Astros, who will see pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14 to the team's new facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., have been targeting starting pitching the entire offseason, beyond adding Charlie Morton in November. They've been linked to nearly every available starter on the trade market, most notably Chris Archer, Jose Quintana and Sonny Gray.
"I feel good about the roster we have right now," Luhnow said Saturday at FanFest. "The roster we have is probably the roster we're going to have to start the season. We're always open to considering ways to improve it, but right now I'd set the expectations low there's going to be any major changes. We've got a good roster of guys that I think can compete for the division title this year."
The health of Lance McCullers and Dallas Keuchel will be the key, and Luhnow said the Astros could always make a move into the season if needed.
"We feel good about what we have, and we feel healthy at this point, and we feel we're going to have a strong starting-pitching staff, a great bullpen and a good rotation, and I think that should be enough for us," he said.
The Astros return lefty Tony Sipp to the bullpen, but he struggled last year. Sipp, Kevin Chapman, Ashur Tolliver and Reymin Guduan are the other lefty relievers on the 40-man roster.
• Astros president Reid Ryan said the team's new Spring Training facility will be ready to go when camp opens. Ryan visited the site recently and said team officials will start moving equipment into the clubhouse next week.
He said the Astros' six workout fields and the agility field are done, and finishing work is being done on the dugouts and some of the things around the field. When camp starts on Feb. 14, there will be mostly cosmetic things that need to be addressed, such as signage, etc.
"The main stadium, all the construction is done," he said. "The only thing they have left was one concession stand down the left-field line, and then the press box and all the areas for writing press, the TV booths, back of house, all that kind of stuff."
The Astros and Nationals, who share the facility, won't play a game in the stadium until Feb. 28, giving crews more than month to put the finishing touches on it.
"The good news is it's phenomenal right now, and it's going only going to get better every day," Ryan said.
• Outfielder Preston Tucker, who hit .164 in 48 games in the big leagues last year after bashing 13 homers in 98 games as a rookie in 2015, said he expects to resume baseball-related activities in the next two weeks and be ready for Spring Training. He underwent left shoulder surgery Sept. 21 to repair the acromion, a bony projection on the shoulder blade.
Tucker, who is lifting weights, says the shoulder is 95-100 percent healed. He has a follow-up appointment with a doctor on Feb. 7 and expects to head to spring camp shortly after that to start his workouts, including swinging a bat for the first time since the surgery.
"It was tough," he said. "I had never been on the DL before. It was a new experience for me. Being in a sling six weeks was tough. … Just seeing the progress I've made with not being able to move my shoulder at all to finally being able to lift weight over my head, it's been pretty cool."
• Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Hall of Famer Craig Biggio and longtime teammate Jeff Bagwell, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in July, will be guest instructors this spring, along with their former manager, Phil Garner. Roger Clemens is expected to stop by camp as well.
• Luhnow said that while he's "in communication with all three" of the club's remaining arbitration-eligible players, it's likely that at least one will end up in a hearing. Those players are pitchers Collin McHugh and Will Harris and utility player Marwin Gonzalez. Gonzalez is asking for $4.2 million, and the Astros filed for $3.25 million; Harris is seeking $2.3 million, and the team field for $1.95 million; and McHugh is asking for $3.85 million, and the team field for $3.35 million.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.