Found February 29, 2012 on Fox Sports Houston:
By Mark Mitchell Special to Spring training is about renewal and hope, or at least that is what Zach Duke is seeking. Signed to a minor league contract, the former All-Star is looking to regain his prior form and experience another unlikly playoff run. Spring dreaming? Yes, but it could happen. Really, it has before. True, the Astros finished 40 games out of first place last year, but Duke experienced a worst-to-first resurgence firsthand last year with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Realistically, Duke knows the odds are much better that he will make the Astros by producing similar results to the first six seasons of his career for the Pittsburgh Pirates before being traded for a player to be named later to the Diamondbacks in 2011. His best season came in 2009 when he went 11-16 and was named to the All-Star team as an injury replacement. In 1,041 career innings, the Texas native has a 4.56 ERA and a record of 48-74. "It was all about the opportunity to r...

Astros name Myers closer

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Astros manager Brad Mills announced on Tuesday he has named Brett Myers as the the team's closer. Mills says the plan to move Myers to that role has been a topic of discussion since before spring training. Mills said general manager Jeff Luhnow initially brought up Myers closing and it took him some time to think about the move but believes it will be good...

Astros move Brett Myers to closer role

Brett Myers, Houston's starting pitcher on opening day last season, will be the Astros closer this year. Manager Brad Mills announced the move Tuesday. The 31-year-old right-hander started 34 games last season, including the season-opener at Philadelphia, and went 7-14 with a 4.46 ERA. Mark Melancon, who replaced the injured Brandon Lyon as the Astros' closer last year...

Cust, Ruggiano get new chance with Astros

By Mark Mitchell Jack Cust wants to be a complete baseball player. After spending the last five years as a designated hitter in the American League, he looks forward to "throwing leather" and running around with his teammates. "It is exciting for me to play both sides of the ball," said Cust. "Sometimes when you are just hitting, you...

Confident Buck familiar with spring auditions

Few players in the Astros' clubhouse can say they've been on as many consecutive Opening Day rosters as non-roster outfielder Travis Buck, who is trying to make a team out of spring camp for the sixth year in a row.

Rotation may be heavy on southpaws

It's possible the Astros could begin the regular season with three left-handers in their starting rotation. Wandy Rodriguez is a lock to be in the rotation if he's not traded, and J.A. Happ has an inside track for another rotation spot. Non-roster invitee Zach Duke will be used in relief and a starter this spring and could crack the rotation.

Schafer working to secure center field job

Jordan Schafer understands the opportunity he has in Houston. It's a young team that's rebuilding and provides fertile ground for young players like Schafer to show what they can do.

More tests coming for ailing Escalona

Astros left-handed relief pitcher Sergio Escalona, who injured his elbow swinging a bat early in camp, was examined by team doctors Thursday and was scheduled to undergo an MRI, manager Brad Mills said.

Astros move Myers to closer

Houston Astros manager Brad Mills told reporters Tuesday that Brett Myers will be making the switch from starting pitcher to closer.

The Roster Report – February 29, 2012

Hey there, hardball fans. Welcome to another edition of the Roster Report. With most of the off-season roster movement finished, it’s time to take a long look at a few recent decisions (and an injury) that will affect roster composition for a few squads. If you’re the fan of the Athletics, the Astros, or the Yankees, you may want to keep reading. The Houston Astros name SP/RP...

Wandy favorite for Opening Day start

The Astros have yet to name an Opening Day starter, but all signs point towards veteran left-hander Wandy Rodriguez being on the mound when Houston faces the Colorado Rockies on April 6 at Minute Maid Park. Houston hasn't had a lefty start on Opening Day since Dave Roberts in 1974.
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.