The Houston Astros are hitting spring training for the 2018 Major League Baseball season this week on Valentine’s Day with a workout for the “it” couple of any team: the pitcher and catcher. The entire Houston Astros will report to training on Feb. 19.
For the second year, the Houston Astros will share a training facility with the Washington Nationals in West Palm Beach, Florida.
While fans will never forget seeing their team take home the 2017 World Series championship, the players may have to put the victory out of their minds in order to take home the trophy again this season.
Manager A.J. Hinch has reportedly already turned his sights toward the 2018 season as the Astros prepare to win another title.
“I’m gonna be the one guy that’s tasked with getting that mindset change from talking about what was wonderful in 2017 to what’s ahead in 2018,” said Hinch, according to the Houston Chronicle. “The faster we can start talking about 2018, the better.”
Although pitchers and catchers are set to start on Valentine’s Day, Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers and newly acquired ace Gerrit Cole all reported a week early to train together.
Fan favorite Jose Altuve also joined his teammates early.
The ‘Stros will only have a few days of full team workouts before they begin Grapefruit League scrimmages against the Nationals at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, which begin on Feb. 23.
Although repeated title wins may be rare, the Astros will put a stellar lineup on the field this season.
“Our team is – on paper -very strong,” Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow said. “I’d be surprised if there was a team that was stronger than us on paper. But that’s all it is at this point: on paper.”
Fans are welcome to watch spring training, but you’ll first have to book the ticket to Florida. The facility is reportedly just a 20-minute drive from the West Palm Beach airport.