2/28/2014 1:00 A.M. ET
Tropeano enjoying first big league camp
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- One of the promising young arms the Astros have in camp who doesn't get as much attention as guys like Mike Foltynewicz and Asher Wojciechowski is right-hander Nick Tropeano, who put together a pretty solid season last year, going 7-10 with a 4.11 ERA in 28 games (20 starts) at Double-A Corpus Christi.
Tropeano, a fifth-round Draft pick in 2011, is likely headed for the Triple-A rotation to start the year.
"The camp's going great," he said. "Just being here in my first big league camp and getting to meet all the guys and [picking] some of the guys' brains, it's really beneficial for me and my career."
Tropeano said he had mixed feelings about the season he had last year, but he was overall pretty happy with his progress. He was 5-4 with a 3.75 ERA in his final 10 starts and contributed in the playoffs.
"I stayed healthy, which was the most important thing, and you learn from it," the pitcher said. "Every year is a learning experience, and I'm hoping I get back out there next year. I just focused on my fastball command, and I felt last year was a real improvement from the year before."
Porter expects slugger Amador to report today
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros manager Bo Porter said Thursday he still anticipates first baseman Japhet Amador will report to camp today. Amador has been in his native Mexico to be with his wife, who had complications from a pregnancy.
"I think it all depends on when he arrives," Porter said. "When he arrives, he'll take his physical, and [head athletic trainer] Nate [Lucero] and his staff will send him through the strength and conditioning phase of the physical, and we'll go from there."
Amador was signed last year after he hit 36 home runs for Diablos Rojos del Mexico. He led his team in homers and RBIs (121). In 104 games and 449 plate appearances, Amador struck out only 59 times. He played for the Astros in the Arizona Fall League.
A non-roster invitee, Amador is expected to compete for time at first base with Brett Wallace, Jesus Guzman, Jonathan Singleton and Marc Krauss. Porter saw Amador play in the AFL, so he has some familiarity.
"You look at the numbers in which he's been able to put in Mexico, and it's a power bat," Porter said. "I went to see him in the Fall League, and he hit a couple of doubles off the wall and he moves pretty well around the bag. Again, he's an exciting guy to have in camp, and we're excited he's going to join us."
Meyer embraces 'Yeti' nickname
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- You know you've embraced a nickname when you put it on your gloves and bats.
That's the case of Astros third baseman Jonathan Meyer, who has the word "Yeti" stitched on his glove. It was given to him in 2010 by Class A Lexington manager Rodney Linares and hitting coach Stubby Clapp.
Yeti, of course, is another name for the Abominable Snowman.
"I'm in the cage the first week of the season and I'm hitting and hitting and Stubby goes, 'Your swing is ugly, but it works. You are ugly on the field, but it works. I'm going to call you The Yeti,'" Meyer said. "I was like, 'What? What does that mean?' That just stuck with me, and he would come up to me and be like [makes a whirring sound] like Chewbacca."
In fact, whenever Meyer calls Clapp these days, his former coach's ringtone plays a Chewbacca noise.
"His kids answer the phone and they say, 'Yeti!'" Meyer joked. "I'm like, 'Oh, my goodness.' I just embrace it."
Veteran Izturis serving as mentor for Correa
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The locker of former No. 1 overall Draft pick Carlos Correa is situated next to 13-year veteran Cesar Izturis, who has a great reputation in the game and will be a great role model this spring for the up-and-coming shortstop.
"Of course, I've seen him play," said Correa, who is 19 years old. "He's on the side of my locker, so we talk a lot about baseball, and he taught me a lot since I've been here these couple of days. He's a great guy, great teammate, great player, too. It's good to have him here on the side of my locker and know a little bit more about baseball with the kind of experience he has."
Correa has picked Izturis' brain about defense and how to approach ground balls, as well as hitting approach.
"We talk about everything in the game," Correa said. "It's great to talk to people that know the game. He's been playing 12 years in the big leagues already and he has a lot of experience. It makes you better. When you mentally get strong, it helps you on the field. So it's great to have him here and be able to talk to him every single day."
Izturis said Correa has amazing ability and just needs experience.
"The most important thing is he likes to work," the veteran said. "He comes in early and works in the cage and asks questions. He's been great so far."
• Astros outfielder Adron Chambers continues to be slowed down by a hamstring strain, and Porter plans to take it easy with him.
• Right-hander Jorge De Leon, who's recovering from a quad strain, faced live hitters Thursday and said he felt better. He said he even threw a couple of split-fingered fastballs with good results.