WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (Nexstar) — Monday was an escape for the Houston Astros.
Given the tumultuous events surrounding the ball club over the last month, the first day of full squad workouts allowed the Astros to just focus on baseball — even if it was only for a couple of hours.
“We’re moving on, guys. Like I said, our report day is today, so we’re ready to focus on 2020,” Carlos Correa said Monday.
The whole team reported to the facility Monday except for pitcher Zack Greinke — which was expected by Astros leadership. It’s funny to consider it, but baseball has turned into a welcomed distraction for the squad.
“Right now, our whole focus is just getting this team ready and that long quest to win a World Series,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said.
There’s no denying Houston is one of the most talented teams coming into the 2020 season. There isn’t a hole in the batting line-up.
Justin Verlander and Greinke will ground a very good pitching staff even without the elite stuff of Gerrit Cole.
The biggest challenge for the Astros will be limiting the distraction and noise that will be a constant at every road ballpark and every new media scrum.
However, there was a new distraction around the team Monday afternoon.
Major League Baseball handed down a season-long suspension for Astros pitcher Frances Martes Monday for a second failed PED test. Martes is on the 40-man roster, but hasn’t pitched for the big league club since 2017.