Slate of hurlers set for intrasquad match
Six-inning showdown will tentatively feature 12 Houston pitchers
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- To prepare for the start of Grapefruit League games on Wednesday, the Astros will play a six-inning intrasquad game on the main field at Osceola County Stadium late Tuesday morning.
Each pitcher scheduled to appear in that game will throw one inning. Brian Moehler, Felipe Paulino, Jose Capellan, Bud Norris, Chad Paronto and Polin Trinidad will be on one team, while Wandy Rodriguez, Clay Hensley, Fernando Nieve, Tyler Lumsden, Brad James and Sergio Perez will play for the other.
"That's what's scheduled," manager Cecil Cooper said. "Between now and tomorrow, things can happen."
Mike Hampton will open the Grapefruit League season Wednesday when the Astros host the Washington Nationals. He's expected to throw two innings, and he'll be followed by Russ Ortiz, who is also expected to throw two.
Other pitchers who can expect to appear in the opener include Geoff Geary, Wesley Wright, Tim Byrdak, Danny Graves and Sammy Gervacio.
Astros working hard: The early hours of Monday morning were busier than usual in Astros camp. Several players were out on the backfields working on baserunning and defense, two important elements Cooper viewed as the club's strengths last year.
"We're going to do that throughout the spring," Cooper said of the baserunning drills. "That's a big part of our game, and we need to continue to do that."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.