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Astros begin spring training camp routine with critical first step

A sign is seen outside the complex in West Palm Beach, Florida, where the Astros conduct spring training on Feb. 12, 2020.
A sign is seen outside the complex in West Palm Beach, Florida, where the Astros conduct spring training on Feb. 12, 2020. (KPRC/Randy McIlvoy)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The day has finally arrived in West Palm Beach. The Astros’ silence will end Thursday as players address the sign-stealing scandal.

On Jan. 13, team owner Jim Crane fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch to begin the rebuilding process.

That was one big step by Crane and it won't be easy moving forward.

Here is what’s on tap for training camp Thursday.

1. Arrival

Astros players and staff begin arriving at the complex as early as 7 a.m. likely through between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Most days they eat breakfast and begin their routine that may include weight work. Thursday, of course, is not your typical opening day for pitchers and catchers.

2. Team news conference

At 8:30 a.m. Central time is when things get serious for the team. The Astros chose to open with a news conference led by Crane who will be joined by new manager Dusty Baker and a few yet-to-be-determined Astros players. Most believe the group that will speak will include Jose Altuve.

What they say and the remorse they show will be a critical first step for this organization.

The team has prohibited the media from livestreaming the news conference but they are offering it live on their social media channels.

Astros Press Conference

#Astros press conference.

Posted by Houston Astros on Thursday, February 13, 2020

3. Baker news conference

Baker is slated to speak separately from the team at 10 a.m. Central time. This is the normal session he will have daily here at camp. Thursday is his first day back in uniform since leaving the Nationals after the 2018 season.

4. Pitchers and catchers start training

Pitchers and catchers will hit the mounds, agility field and practice fields for their first workout of camp. The schedule will likely have six to eight pitchers throwing light bullpens under the watchful eye of Baker and pitching coach Brent Strom. Others who are not throwing Thursday will conduct mound drills on other fields. During this time, they will do fielding work covering first base and work on pickoffs and rundowns. The pitchers will end their workout getting in sprints in the outfield.

5. Day’s end

In this part of camp, before games begin, the workout ends after two to three hours. At that point, the players may eat lunch in the cafeteria before showering and heading out for the day. Camp is six weeks long, so it is about putting in the work and not burning out.