Jose Veras was surrounded by boxes. Small, rectangular orange ones filled with baseball cleats; larger boxes loaded with clothes and sports gear.

It was 8:40 a.m. Tuesday. Veras had just arrived at Osceola County Stadium for the Astros’ first official spring training workout of the 2013 season. The 32-year-old righthander was still figuring out his new surroundings. It was only his second time at his locker, he’d yet to speak with pitching coach Doug Brocail, and he was more concerned with eating breakfast than declaring himself the Astros’ new closer.

The 6-6, 240-pound Veras has played for five teams in the last four years. He long ago grew accustomed to the cold business side of baseball. But even Veras found himself in a foreign world Tuesday morning as a sea of unknown orange and blue uniforms washed around him.