CLEVELAND -- With the season one week from coming to an end, Astros manager Bo Porter has begun the process of conducting informal exit interviews with players before they go their separate ways over the fall.
Instead of having all the players come into his office for sit-downs, Porter has chosen a more casual approach, perhaps talking to some during batting practice or sitting in the dugout pregame. A few talks have taken place in his office, however.
"It'll continue through the course of the week and as we wind down," Porter said. "I kind of had those conversations sparingly through the last couple of weeks. We talk about their season, talk about offseason goals, talk about next year and just telling them some of the things we talk about as a staff and what it is we believe we can do to take the next step, and talk about team goals as well."
The composition of the Astros' roster for next seasons remains very much up in the air, with the exception of a few positions that appear to be locked up for 2014, so it is natural for the players to wonder how they will fit going forward.
"I think we've done a good job communicating to these guys what it is we think from an organizational standpoint of the season of which they had and moving forward how the thought process relates to next year," Porter said. "I think we've been pretty good communicating all those things."
Astros reflect on Cosart's solid rookie season
CLEVELAND -- It was a bang-up debut for Jarred Cosart, the rookie right-hander who made 10 starts for the Astros this year and went 1-1 with a 1.95 ERA. The Astros shut him down following his Sept. 9 start at Seattle because of a career-high number of innings.
Astros pitching coach Doug Brocail was, of course, thoroughly impressed with Cosart but knows there is work to be done. He wants Cosart to become more fluid in his delivery and concentrate on moving straight toward the mound and not crossing over.
"He came up and he did well," Brocail said. "He had a knack for when he walks somebody and gets in trouble of getting the ground ball at the right time or getting a double play to get out of it. I'd like to see more strikes, though, and more consistency with the curveball."
Cosart allowed only 46 hits in 60 innings, but he had more walks (35) than strikeouts (33).
"There's a lot of things he could have done to get the guys off of his fastball, and he didn't do it," Brocail said. "He primarily stayed fastball, curveball and that's youth and getting to a different level. He'll be fine."
Since 1901, there have been 100 pitchers to make exactly 10 starts in a debut season, and Cosart's ERA is the second lowest among this group, behind Rube Bressler's 1.77 in 147 2/3 innings in 1914 (Bressler also made 19 relief appearances).