Even though new Astros owner Jim Crane decided against changing the name of the team, he said on Monday the possibility remains of a logo and uniform change.
“It's got to be approved by (the MLB),” Crane said at the Astros Caravan. “If so, it's natural we would do it next year.”
The Astros move to the American League in 2013 as part of Crane's agreement to buy the team this offseason. Houston has been a member of the National League since the city received an expansion franchise in 1962.
Crane initially pitched the idea of changing the team name, but 80 percent of fans polled said they did not want to change it. The Houston franchise was known as the Colt .45s until the team moved to the new Astrodome in 1965.
“If you were running for office and you could get 80 percent, you're in pretty good shape,” Crane said. “So, we immediately came back and said we weren't going to change the name and we'd take a look at the uniforms and the logo next year when we go to the American League.”
MOVE TO AL OF LITTLE CONCERN
Astros outfielder J.D. Martinez said the move to the AL in 2013 is more like starting over.
“Baseball-wise, I say it's different just because it might be tougher at first because we have already faced our pitchers … and now you're facing pitchers that you have never seen before,” he said. “So, it's like kind of starting from scratch again. It's like the demo run before the next year when you start getting your book on guys.”
Right-hander David Carpenter when asked about not facing Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder this season late in games added that the Astros will regularly play the Angels and Pujols in 2013. The Astros will eventually get a small dose of Fielder, who recently signed with Detroit.
“To go and have them out of the league for a year, it's nice to have that cushion for a year,” he said. “But then the following year we go to the American League and we're right back into contention every few weeks with the Angels, and Albert is going to be there.
“Do we look at it as we need to run and hide? Absolutely not.”
CARPENTER RETURNS TO OKC
For Carpenter, Monday's caravan was a return to Oklahoma City, where he threw 19 scoreless innings in 19 appearances last season.
“I really had a lot of good memories being here,” he said. “It's hard to say that I had any bad memories here, I didn't give up any runs so that's definitely a plus. Coming back to see a lot of familiar faces is a nice thing.”
ALTUVE THE MARATHON MAN
Second baseman Jose Altuve logged nearly 900 at-bats last year between Class A-Advanced Lancaster, Double-A Corpus Christi, Houston and the winter leagues.
Altuve, though, looks at that as possibly an advantage while monitoring the fatigue factor.
“A little bit of both,” he said. “I got tired at the end of the year. I took, like, three months off and I think that's enough to get ready for spring training.”
“You would have thought I ran over two grandmothers,” — Crane on reaction from fans after considering changing the team name.