Astros manager Bo Porter said Tuesday that Jose Veras is the "front-runner" to be the team's closer.
"If you're going to take a chance on someone to be a first-time closer, that's the type of guy you want," Porter said. "We do have other pitchers that will get an opportunity to pitch late in the game, whether it's [Rhiner] Cruz, who had a really good winter league, or [Hector] Ambriz. There are others who will get a look, but Veras has the experience right now and is the front-runner." Veras has major control issues, but he gets plenty of swings and misses and is the best bet of lackluster group in the Houston bullpen. That said, his leash would be short and he's on a team virtually assured of another 100-loss season, so his prospects in fantasy terms aren't great.