Sprucing up Minute Maid Park in anticipation of Opening Day.
The Astros held a workout for the 40th time (or somewhere in that neighborhood) in a row on Thursday, but this one carried special significance, because it was the last one before Opening Day.
Not that the Astros will stop working out, practicing and going through the drills and routine that keeps them sharp throughout the year. But for the better part of seven weeks they’ve been working out on the field together in preparation for a season that seemingly, at least to some of us, was never going to get here.
It was a picture-perfect day in Houston on Thursday — low humidity, lots of sun, a mild breeze — and the same is expected for Opening Day. As the players ran around the field, support staff and stadium workers spent the afternoon sprucing up the place for what should be a sellout crowd on Friday. Here are the images from the last quiet day we’ll experience at Minute Maid Park for a while:
(P.S. Gates will open at 4 p.m. on Friday. The first pitch will be at 6:05 p.m. Pregame introductions will begin around 5:30, so be sure to get there early.)
Two interesting items as we get ready to delve into the season:
1. The Astros are the second-youngest team in the big leagues. The average age of their 25-man roster is 27.82 years, behind only the Royals, whose average age is 27.42.
On that note, Baseball America recently tabbed the club’s Double-A Corpus Christi team as the eighth-best team in Minor League Baseball. The explanation:
“It has been a long time since the Astros could assemble enough talent to fill a roster like this, but last year’s trades have helped make up for the organization’s minor league talent deficiency. 1B Jonathan Singleton (No. 34) and RHP Jarred Cosart (No. 50) both came over in last summer’s Hunter Pence trade. Fellow Phillies’ pickups SS Jonathan Villar ahd RHP Josh Zeid are joined by ex-Brave LHP Brett Oberholtzer on what may be the Astros’ most talented minor league club in a decade.”