Jeff Luhnow held a press conference this morning,(which is basically, like, three guys) and the main topic of conversation was 1B candidate Japhet Amador.
According to basically everyone on Twitter, Amador is in Mexico for unspecified family reasons, and will not be reporting to Spring Training. Luhnow said:
He’s not going to be here, and we don’t know what the next steps are
with him. For now, he needs to spend some time with his
family, so he won’t be showing up here today. Other than that, we expect
everybody else to be here...When things happen to your family, you tend not to think about next
steps. We’re going to give him the time that he needs,
but right now we’re proceeding as if he’s not going be here during
So obviously this is terrible, and we hope for nothing but the best for Japhet Amador and his family.
It also means that the 1B job got a little more interesting. A few short weeks ago the Astros had the following candidates to play first base:
Well. Wallace was optioned off the 40-Man roster, and now Amador will not apparently be participating in Spring Training. So that leaves Guzman, Krauss, and Singleton (I'm proceeding as though Chris Carter will be the rotating DH, and get some time in LF and periodically at 1B).
Marc Krauss hit .209/.267/.366 in 52 games (146 PAs) for the Astros last year. Small sample size and all that, but he also only hit .111/.183/.185 with almost as many walks (5) as hits (6) at Minute Maid Park. He hit .275/.326/.488 on the road.
Jesus Guzman at least played in 126 games for San Diego last season (318 PAs) and hit .226/.297/.378 and seriously can somebody just get on base. He did seem to be hamstrung by Petco Park, though, hitting .164/.248/.209 at home, while hitting .279/.339/.526 on the road. All nine of Guzman's homers came away from Petco last season.
Everyone knows Singleton had a bad year, mainly due to the 50-game suspension, and didn't hit well during the season. But he regrouped in the Puerto Rican Winter League, hitting .268/.396/.537. But Singleton hasn't arrived at camp yet, which he should probably do fairly quickly, seeing as how today is the report date for all players.
Brett Wallace has a chance to earn the spot back, I guess, but first he'd have to earn a spot back on the 40-Man roster. Which means someone would have to earn a spot off of the 40-Man roster. Japhet Amador is not on the 40-Man, so today's news doesn't exactly open a door for Wallace - not that it really would, anyway, since it's not as though the 1B job was ever Amador's to lose.
Gonna be interesting to see how this plays out.