WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The sounds of baseball continue in West Palm Beach, only things intensified Monday with the pitchers and catchers joined by the rest of the roster.
Monday marks the first full-squad workout where the stage is set for a new season and the focus shifts to another World Series run by the 2017 champs and 2018 playoff team that fell short in the ALCS to the Boston Red Sox.
“Several months have passed but it felt like we just left each other,” Josh Reddick said in the clubhouse Monday morning. “It’s good to see the guys. These are close friends so it’s always good to come back.”
Time away from one another doesn’t keep the guys from staying on top of each other’s lives. Through social media, phone calls and texts it’s pretty easy to do.
“With (Alex) Bregman, it’s kind of hard not to keep up with him. He’s entertaining, and a lot of fun to watch,” said Reddick “ We all texted and played video games together. For us, the offseason was about being lazy, watching college football and waiting for baseball to start.”
Jose Altuve is back and excited more than ever as he embarks on his ninth season with the Astros.
“It’s a beautiful thing coming in the first day," Altuve said. “With players like Reddick, (George) Springer, Bregman, and (Carlos) Correa. The big part is players coming up from the system. This year different guys will help us win and get us to playoffs.”
Altuve is coming off a season where his numbers were lower by his standards due to a lingering knee issue he battled through the season and postseason. He had surgery 12 hours after the Astros were eliminated and now is 100 percent as camp begins.
“You need to redeem yourself and accomplish your goals. I want to stay healthy and I want to go and win," Altuve said. "We have 25 leaders here and someone will do something to help us win.”
“I think the key for me is coming in as if it’s my first season," Altuve said. "The excitement and energy when I get here it’s like my first spring training all over again. I have to prove people wrong every single year and keep doing it.”
The Astros will train as a group all week before spring games begin Saturday when they play the Washington Nationals at FitTeam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
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