Following playoff appearance, Astros head to spring training with raised expectations

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HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros returned to the MLB playoffs in 2015 for the first time in a decade, but as spring training rolls around this year, manager A.J. Hinch is quick to start fresh.

"I'll be pretty direct with our guys to make sure we don't look back too far into last season, because it doesn't count toward this season's record," Hinch said at a media luncheon on Friday. "It's a nice base for us to build from, but it doesn't get us one win this year."

The Astros return a young core, including Dallas Keuchel, Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and George Springer.  While the team had hopes of making the playoffs last season, this year, the expectations are ramped up.

"We're going to embrace it, because there's no way to run away from it," Hinch said. "The bar has been raised to where they have to excel at the opportunities they're given, while being themselves."

Astros pitchers and catchers report on Thursday, February 18.  The team's first full-squad workout will be on Tuesday, February 23.

Check out the Astros 2016 Campaign video that they released on YouTube.