• Astros manager Bo Porter said he won't name a starting pitching for Opening Day until about the third or fourth time through the rotation this spring. Bud Norris and Lucas Harrell are considered the front-runners for the Opening Day nod.
• Right-hander Hector Ambriz, who's been out of action since he sprained his left ankle last week, continues to improve. He's been on a treadmill and he's throwing on flat ground at 120 feet. Ambriz has yet to throw live batting practice.
• Porter said he expects to ask to use the designed hitter when visiting National League parks during Grapefruit League play for about half the exhibition schedule. The Astros will use the DH at home for every game at Osceola County Stadium and will have to have pitchers hit in places like Jupiter, Fla., (Cardinals), Viera, Fla. (Nationals) and Port St. Lucie, Fla., (Mets) later in camp.