Houston Astros Player News: Last 24 hours, All Positions

News: Cole relied heavily on his fastball in 2017 with Pittsburgh, but the Astros feel he can benefit from throwing more offspeed stuff, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
Impact: Manager A.J. Hinch stressed there won't be an overhaul, but rather a "tweak" in pitch usage for Cole, who surrendered a career-high 31 home runs in 2017 -- 18 off his fastball. Hinch feels the key is to get a good game plan in front of Cole, which could mean fewer fastballs in favor of his slider and changeup.
News: Martes has showed improve control during spring bullpen sessions, Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Impact: Better control was just one of a few improvements Martes brought to camp. The 22-year-old right-hander also trimmed up his husky frame and slowed down his delivery, which had been the root cause of his control problems last year (5.1 BB/9, 54.1 IP) when he was up with the Astros. He tended to spray the ball when the delivery was rushed. The mid-90s fastball is still there and his slider can play in MLB, however, Martes will not take the next step without improving his control. Given good health among Houston's projected starting staff, Martes is expected to open the season in the rotation at Triple-A Fresno.
News: Rodgers (elbow) will participate in pitchers' fielding practice and do "some light throwing" during spring training, per manager A.J. Hinch, Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Impact: Hinch said Rodgers may throw a bullpen session within the next six weeks, however, the pitcher estimated his first bullpen will be sometime in May. The 27-year-old right-hander was coming off the best season of his career when he injured his elbow last spring and underwent Tommy John elbow surgery last May. He had a 2.86 ERA over 132 innings for Triple-A Fresno in 2016. Ideally, Rodgers would be a depth-starter option for the Astros, but the injury puts him out of the mix for that role.