"This is my first managing job," said Bo Porter, Houston's new skipper. "So I think I offer a kind of outsider's view, but one thing I do know about baseball is that home runs are good. It's my goal to have this team do a lot of them. But that takes practice and execution."
Porter is taking over a 55-107 team that is faced with moving to the AL West from the NL Central this season.
"I'm not looking for slightly improvement," said Porter. "I want to compete for the playoffs right away. And this explosive home run play can get us there."
The Astros spent Day 1 in camp breaking down film of home runs.
"I noticed that they go over the fence!" exclaimed shortstop Jacob Elmore. "That's the key."
Day 2 of camp consisted of Porter running through the various home run plays he had conceived in the offseason, titled Home Run Left, Home Run Left-Center, Home Run Center, Home Run Right-Center and Home Run Right.
"The play names are confusing, but I hope to learn them by Opening Day," said an outfielder named Oscar Cespedes or something like that.
With the new offense in place, Houston has been tirelessly running each play over and over again.
"We're not there yet, but I'm seeing progress," said Porter. "One guy almost got one out of the infield today. On the fly, too! I'll be interested to see how they do when we turn the pitching machine up to 60 mph."