8/19/2014 8:13 P.M. ET
Astros honored to share in Jeter's final season
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- This week's series against the Yankees marks the final time the Astros will see Derek Jeter, who will retire this season following 20 years with the Yankees. Considering the Astros are the youngest team in baseball, many of the players grew up watching Jeter in his heyday.
"Being able to be on the same field and play against a guy of his capabilities that has meant so much to the game of baseball is pretty special," catcher Jason Castro said. "It's something I'll never forget. I got a chance to experience Mariano Rivera last year in his last season in New York for the All-Star Game, and to be able to be here and be a part of Jeter's kind of farewell tour is another special moment."
Astros manager Bo Porter, who's only two years older than Jeter, said he could talk about Jeter for "hours and hours."
"He's one of the best players in our game, one of the most respected players," he said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he's meant for the game of baseball, and I'm going to be sad to see him go."
Hard-throwing Astros rookie reliever Mike Foltynewicz is hoping for a chance to face him.
"I've seen him on TV my whole life, and it's pretty big," he said. "I hope I can pitch against him. He's had a huge impact on the game of baseball ever since he came in. He's such a class act and everyone respects him, and to get an opportunity to go out there and play against him after all he's done for the game of baseball is pretty special."
Crain 'grinding away' to contribute to Astros
NEW YORK -- Jesse Crain, who's been out all season after having biceps tendinitis surgery last October, joined the Astros briefly Tuesday at Yankee Stadium for a quick workout before flying back home to Houston.
Crain was in town to be examined by Dr. David Altchek, the medical director for the Mets, who performed the surgery. Crain has had numerous setbacks while he tries to recover and has progressed to the point of throwing fastballs and changeups off the mound.
"I'll keep on grinding away and see what happens," Crain said. "For the last two weeks, I've been feeling pretty good."
Crain hopes to progress to the point where he's throwing breaking balls off the mound with his shoulder remaining strong, which would then allow him to face hitters. He's hoping to do so in the next couple of weeks, which could give him a month of game action.
"Of course, I want to get out there for a bunch of reasons -- for the Astros, myself and for next year as well," he said. "There's going to be a bunch of reasons for me to get out there. Hopefully, time doesn't run out."
Crain signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal last offseason to play for his hometown team, so not being able to get on the mound has been a disappointment for him and the club. He would like to pitch for the Astros next year, and being able to throw in a few games in September would give him some confidence.
"I live at home, and I'm a Houston guy that was excited to sign here," he said. "Obviously, it's unfortunate I haven't been able to get out there yet, but they've done a great job working with me to get me healthy. It would be great to be able to come back next year and have a chance to help them out, being healthy for a whole season.
"They've done a great job and really worked with me. It would be great to be on the field for them as well."
• Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Tuesday after being challenged on national TV by Porter on Monday. Porter was doused by mostly ice at MLB Network's studios Monday and then challenged Ryan, Harold Reynolds and Cliff Floyd to do the same to raise awareness for ALS.
• Astros scouting director Mike Elias was at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday prior to heading to Brooklyn this weekend to check out the Astros' affiliate Tri-City of the New York-Penn League. Many of the team's players picked in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft are playing for the ValleyCats.
• Astros owner Jim Crane traveled with the team to New York from Boston and spent a few minutes chatting prior to Tuesday's game with golf great Tiger Woods. Crane and Woods have played golf together three times, including last year with President Barack Obama at Crane's Floridian Golf Club.