LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Any time veteran relief pitcher Peter Moylan returns to Champion Stadium, it brings back great memories. After all, it's the site where his Major League career was born.
Moylan, a non-roster invitee with the Astros, put on a dazzling performance for Australia in the 2006 World Baseball Classic at Champion Stadium, striking out Bobby Abreu, Marco Scutaro, and Magglio Ordonez of Venezuela in his only appearance.
The next day, the Braves called and offered him a contract, and he wound up playing eight seasons in their organization. He made his Major League debut in April of that season.
"This is where it all began," Moylan said Friday from Champion Stadium. "This is where I pitched for Australia in the World Baseball Classic, and this is where I eventually threw a couple of spring games for the Braves."
Moylan was a pharmaceutical rep in Australia when he took paid vacation to come to the U.S. for the World Baseball Classic. It was going to be his baseball swan song, because he planned to retire, at the age of 27 years old, following the tournament.
"That was the outing that got me back over here," Moylan said. "Before that, I had no plans of even playing professionally again. It wasn't until I was approached by the Braves the next day and they said, 'Look, we want you to come and try out.' I did, and the rest is history."
Moylan said he went from staying in the Ritz-Carlton with the Australian team to the Homewood Suites with a roommate when he joined the Braves as a Minor Leaguer. It was a move he was happy to make.
"I have really good memories here, and good memories of the Braves," Moylan said.
Slugger Amador reports to Astros camp
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Japhet Amador reported to Astros camp on Friday afternoon. He went through a physical and worked out with the players who were staying behind at Osceola County Stadium instead of playing in the night game against the Braves at Disney.
Amador, signed last year out of the Mexican League, originally didn't report to camp because of complications with his wife's pregnancy. Now that he's here, he will compete for a starting first-base job, and he said he could be ready for game action in three or four days.
"We'll see what type of condition he's in, and we've still got to get him some live BP and get him moving all over the field and play it by ear," manager Bo Porter said.
Amador's agent, Oscar Suarez, served as his interpreter when Amador met reporters.
"It was a tough decision when she was in the hospital," Suarez said. "It was his family's decision, her family's decision, but she's doing better now. But he's still worried she might have a setback or two."
Amador knows a few of the players in camp, having represented the Astros in the Arizona Fall League. Delino DeShields Jr. and Jonathan Meyer were among his teammates.
"It was a long season for him, since he played winter ball and he got the point he had to mentally get away from the game," Suarez said. "Now he's ready to come back."
Amador hit 36 home runs for Diablos Rojos del Mexico last year, leading the team in homers and RBIs, with 121. In 104 games and 449 plate appearances, Amador struck out only 59 times. Porter told him to keep him abreast of his family situation.
"Whenever someone has family things they need to tend to, I wanted to make it perfectly clear to him we're here to support him in any which way," Porter said. "We were happy he was able to make it here, but at the same time, I told him to keep me abreast of what's going on with your family, and if you need some time here and there, let us know and we'll help you."
Wojciechowski back with Astros after PRP injection
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Right-handed pitcher Asher Wojciechowski was back in camp Friday after flying to Houston to get a platelet-rich plasma injection to help with a strained lat that's bothered him for about a month now. He aggravated the injury throwing last week and remains inactive.
"I think we're just going to give it a couple of days of more rest, and then whatever the doctors want to do, and see how I'm feeling," Wojciechowski said. "Hopefully, this helps the recovery process and lets it heal a little bit faster than it has been."
During the procedure, Wojciechowski's blood was drawn, treated and injected back into the inflamed area. He treated the area with ice on Friday while he awaits the go-ahead to resume throwing.
"I don't know exactly the time frame or plan," he said. "All I know is we're going to rest it and maybe in a few more days start testing it, and I don't know when I'm going to start throwing yet. Hopefully soon."
Luhnow to speak at sports analytics conference
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow flew to Boston on Friday to take part of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Luhnow is scheduled to speak at the conference Saturday for the second time in three years.
Luhnow will sit on a baseball analytics panel with renowned statistician Nate Silver, SABR president Vince Gennaro, senior baseball editor of FoxSports.com Rob Neyer, MLB Network host Brian Kenny and Bloomberg Sports president Bill Squadron.
The conference was founded in 2006 by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey.
"Part of it is supporting Daryl, who's done such a terrific job getting this conference going and bringing so many intelligent people together who have a common purpose of improving sports through analytics," Luhnow said. "Being in that environment with other people who are interested in that, and curious about that, is helpful."
And Luhnow will have a chance to expose a wide audience to what the Astros are doing in the field of analytics. Astros director of decision sciences Sig Mejdal attended the conference last year.
"It's a tough time to carve off a day, even one day, because it's right in the middle of Spring Training," Luhnow said. "I did it two years ago, and I'll probably go about every other year."
Also speaking at the conference will be NFL quarterback Andrew Luck, former NBA coach Phil Jackson, Red Sox owner John Henry and Morey.
Odds and ends
• Porter said the team has yet to even discuss when 2013 No. 1 Draft pick Mark Appel might make his first Grapefruit League appearance. Appel is a bit behind his teammates after undergoing an appendectomy.
• Porter said catcher Jason Castro's schedule has been mapped out for the spring. Like last year, Castro will play about every other day for a week before increasing his at-bats for a couple of weeks. Porter will slow Castro down for a week and then ramp his playing time back up toward the end.