• Astros pitchers Mark Appel and Jesse Crain are progressing on their way back to the mound, Astros manager Bo Porter said Thursday. Appel is coming along slowly after undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Jan. 30, while Crain is recovering from a strained right calf.
"I know Appel is getting close," Porter said. "Crain is continuing the program which the trainers have laid out for him. His arm strength is increasing, and we're going to continue to monitor those guys as we go along."
• Left-hander Kevin Chapman allowed a walk and struck out a batter in 1 2/3 innings on Thursday, working parts of three innings. Porter said before the game he was looking to get certain relievers in the kind of matchups they'll face in the regular season, which is why Chapman stayed in to face another left-handed hitter. Overall, Chapman has put together four scoreless Grapefruit League appearances over 4 1/3 innings.
"Chapman did a tremendous job," Porter said.
• Outfielder George Springer -- the Astros' No. 3 Prospect -- went 1-for-2 with a double and a walk a day after knocking a walk-off single, and Porter is pleased with the way he's adjusted this spring.
"Early on in camp, I think he was over-swinging. That's something that hitting coach John Mallee has talked to him about," Porter said. "But what I've been impressed with this spring is his strike-zone discipline."
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.