Japhet Amador expected to report to Astros camp on Friday

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The Astros signed slugger Japhet Amador out of the Mexican League over the winter with the idea of giving him a chance to compete for the first base job during spring training, but he was unable to report to camp last week because his pregnant wife was ill. However, her condition has apparently improved to the point where he’ll be able to join the Astros.

Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports that Amador is expected to arrive in Orlando, Florida later this evening and should report to Astros camp tomorrow. It’s not clear when he’ll be ready for game action.

Listed at 6-foot-4, and 305 pounds on the Astros website, Amador is a very big man and he should be an interesting story to follow. The 27-year-old posted massive power numbers in the Mexican League, including 36 home runs last season. Whether that success will translate against advanced competition is the big question, but the rebuilding Astros are willing to take the gamble.

Miguel Sano gained weight this offseason

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Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:

Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.

They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.

Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.

Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.

So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.