We are a pretty young team. There are a lot of guys just breaking into the league and trying to prove they belong -- more to themselves than anything. It has been a real learning season for all of us. We are learning from the mistakes that we have made this year. It has been tough that way, however, there is a lot of talent on this team, and the future looks bright.

Seeing and being around these young players takes me back to when I was breaking in. At that time, it felt like things were moving at a 100 mph pace. I was learning as I was going. I was just trying to sit back and watch my veteran teammates. I tried to absorb as much as I could. It was about learning every day, and I think we have a great group of young guys who are trying to do that.

We are going in the right direction. But right now, this is not what we wanted, nor should our record be what it is. But it is what it is. We show up every day in an effort to get better and to try and figure how to win together.

Here in Houston, I have what you call veteran status. Coming up with the Rockies as a young guy, I didn't know what year it was when you became a veteran. I never saw myself as a veteran while I was in Colorado. Changing teams this past offseason for the first time and walking into the clubhouse in Spring Training, you could see how young the team was. I had become a veteran, and it was very exciting.

I have enjoyed meeting a lot of these guys and working with them. It has not been an easy year from a win-loss standpoint, but you learn together, and you try and build a core. With the guys we have, I think we have pretty good chemistry, and I definitely believe we are headed in the right direction.

While this season has been different, the key for me is to remain who I am and go about my business like I have in the past. I have never been a really vocal guy. But as one of the few older guys on the team, you take on a role that is needed. With the group of older players that we have, none of us has really grabbed that vocal leadership role. As a group, we talk about baseball all the time. No one here is a sit-you-down-type guy. But I think we have done a pretty good job of being available and willing to talk.

To me, Jason Michaels has done a pretty good job of stepping in and being more of a leader. Guys like Jason, Brett Myers, Carlos Lee and Humberto Quintero lead by example.

We have a young core that is watching the things we do and the role of leader is really important at this time. This team has a lot of energy, and that is good.

Infielder Clint Barmes is in his first year in Houston after eight seasons with the Rockies. He is hitting .249 in 86 contests.