05/31/12 10:20 PM ET
Mills trying to find reason for road woes
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
Mills wasn't able to come to a consensus why his team has played poorer on the road, but he reminded reporters the Astros have suffered six walk-off losses, which is a testament to how competitive they have been in some of their road games.
"When you have a younger group of guys, you have to get used to a routine on the road," Mills said. "I'm just thinking of things off the top of my head what it could be. What time to do you get up? When do you get to the ballpark? That's a little bit different than at home.
"We've tried to go through that process and I've worked with guys and talked with them. One of the biggest things is we don't get a chance to come out and do our early work [while on the road]. We do that at home. We come out and take a lot of infield work, a lot of bunting. Our pitchers hit on the field."
Mills said all those factors combined have probably helped contribute to the Astros' road woes.
Castro feels like swing is starting to click
DENVER -- Astros catcher Jason Castro said his offensive numbers -- a .216 batting average entering Thursday -- aren't what he had hoped they would be at this point in the season, but he's encouraged about how he's been feeling at the plate lately.
Castro was hitting .253 (18-for-71) in 22 starts entering Thursday.
"My at-bats have been pretty good for the most part," Castro said. "I'm just trying to iron some small things out and get back to where I was in Spring Training. It's all about getting timing back. Obviously, pitching is a little bit different in Spring Training than it is during the regular season, so getting back into that regular-season mode has been a little bit more of an adjustment.
"I'm really good with where I'm at and my swing feels really good. Hopefully I can start putting together some good games in a row."
Castro, of course, still has fewer than 300 Major League at-bats to his name after missing all of last season following knee surgery.
"I don't know where I could be if I hadn't missed that time, but honestly I don't feel like I missed that much time," he said.
Mills ready to join Astros brass in Draft room
DENVER -- With the Astros having an off-day on Monday, manager Brad Mills said he plans to be at the team's Draft room at Union Station to observe as the Astros make the top selection in the First-Year Player Draft.
"They asked me to come up and I said, 'Sure, I'd love to,'" he said. "I don't know how many people are going to be in that room. If that room is going to be basically jam-packed, maybe I won't go up there. The last thing I want is for it to be a headache more than something that's going to be pretty cool."
Mills hasn't spent much time focusing on the Draft but has tried to read up on the some of the players the Astros might take with the No. 1 pick.
"I've had a few talks with [general manager] Jeff [Luhnow] and it's important to me who we take, but I'm not asking who we're going to take," Mills said. "I want to be surprised like everybody else."
J.A. Happ, who is scheduled to pitch for the Astros on Friday at Minute Maid Park, got in a workout Thursday morning at Coors Field before hopping on a plane and flying to Houston ahead of the team, which isn't scheduled to arrive back home until around 3 a.m. CT on Friday.