HOUSTON (AP) _ The Houston Astros announced plans to open a baseball academy in Nicaragua in March of next year, with the help of the Nicaraguan Baseball Federation.

Special assistant to the general manager Andres Reiner, who oversees the Astros established baseball academy in Venezuela, will also oversee the Nicaraguan school, which will use many of the same instructors and specialists used in Venezuela.

The first phase of the academy began last August when the Astros began providing technical assistance to the NBF.

Cesar Cedeno will serve as batting instructor, Pablo Torrealba will be the pitching and infield coach and Ramon Morales will work with assisting players in strength and conditioning techniques.