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Porter to begin implementing replay during spring

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros manager Bo Porter plans to simulate the use of instant replay as much as he can during Grapefruit League games, even though he won't always have access to a replay monitor. For Porter, it's about identifying potential plays to challenge and learning the terminology and what he can or can't do.

Officials from Major League Baseball, led by Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, briefed the Astros, Nationals, Tigers and Braves during a two-hour, 45-minute meeting Friday on expanded instant replay that will begin this year.

"They did a tremendous job of putting the information together and kind of giving us scenarios," Porter said. "It was long, but it was very much needed, and I think it was very beneficial at the same time."

Porter said one of the issues that was addressed during the meeting was the timing of when you can challenge.

"There were some questions that came up, 'OK, if you have to make it before a pitching change is being made, if that guy leaves the bullpen when does that constitute him being in the game?'" Porter said. "We were able to kind of clarify all of those issues and I think everybody left there yesterday feeling comfortable with the rules, and it's a thing we're actually going to be able to put into practice this spring."

Torre said each team will have at least five games during Spring Training during which it can implement replay, but the Astros are going to have their own program and use walkie-talkies to communicate with their video staff when they're able this spring.

"We're going to go ahead and start from Day 1 and implement our process among myself, [bench coach Dave Trembley], the coaching staff, the video people, so we can practice it the entire spring," Porter said.

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