HOUSTON (KIAH) — Pitchers and catchers reported last week, and the rest of the squad is due at the Houston Astros’ spring training site in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The defending World Series champions are beginning their defense of the club’s second title, and they’re the odds-on favorite to do so.

Fan-favorite Jose Altuve reported to spring training a few days early and is set to become the team’s everyday second baseman for the 12th straight season. Last week the 32-year-old got a vote of confidence from the Astros front office.

General manager Dana Brown said that he’d like to see Altuve retire having never worn another uniform, indicating he doesn’t want to lose him to another team.

The second baseman confirmed that the feeling is mutual while reporting early to Spring Training yesterday.

“I’ve been all my career here, and I hope to retire here,” Altuve said. “I think we’re on the same page. I’m happy to play with my teammates in Houston with my fans like I always say.”

The next six weeks will be busy for the Astros, as they will only have three days off during spring training.

Manager Dusty Baker, who’s entering his 43rd year in Major League Baseball, called spring training a “necessary ill.”

“You’re preparing your body and your mind for the daily grind, because it becomes daily,” Baker said. “Whichever team or individuals is the strongest mentally and physically on a daily basis — that’s who usually wins.”