HOUSTON -- With September fast approaching and the rebuilding Astros largely dependent upon relatively young starting pitching, the time is near for Houston manager Bo Porter to concern himself with innings limits for some of his more heavily utilized pitchers.
Left-handers Dallas Keuchel (171 1/3 innings) and Brett Oberholtzer (147 2/3 innings combined between Houston and Triple-A Oklahoma City) are on their way to establishing career highs for innings pitched. Right-hander Brad Peacock (118 innings) likely won't approach the 162 1/3 innings he logged last season with the Astros and Oklahoma City, but he twice dealt with right forearm discomfort, a mild concern.
"There are some target numbers we have on paper that we're going to pay close attention to," Porter said Thursday before the Astros' 4-2 win over the Texas Rangers. "But I think at the same time, you watch the player and let your eyes tell you what it is you may need to do one way or the other. We'll take all the information that we have and make the best decision for each player. That's a case-by-case situation with each guy."
Oberholtzer likely won't obliterate the 166 2/3 innings he pitched over two minor league levels in 2012, but Keuchel is a different story. His career high of 177 2/3 innings was set last season, a total he could bypass Sunday in the series finale against the Rangers.
"I think we definitely need to keep an eye on him," Porter said. "You look at his workload and the number of innings he's thrown this year, it's definitely something we're going to keep an eye on."
STREAK: Won one
NEXT: Rangers (RHP Scott Baker, 2-3, 5.45 ERA) at Astros (LHP Brett Oberholtzer, 4-9, 4.01 ERA)
--RHP Collin McHugh pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on eight hits while striking out six in his first career appearance against the Rangers. He recorded his fifth quality start in his last six appearances and finished August 3-0 with a 1.91 ERA in six starts. His ERA this month is the lowest by an Astros pitcher since LHP Wandy Rodriguez posted a 1.34 ERA in August 2010.
--RHP Josh Fields retired all three batters he faced in a scoreless eighth inning. Fields has not allowed a run in each of his past five appearances dating back to Aug. 19 against the New York Yankees.
--LHP Tony Sipp earned his second save of the season with a perfect ninth inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced. He has 51 strikeouts in 42 innings this season and has worked 40 scoreless appearances in 47 outings.
--2B Jose Altuve recorded his 182nd hit in the fifth inning, and he remains on pace to set a club record for single-season hits. Craig Biggio had 175 hits through 135 games in 1998 en route to setting the club mark of 210.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I feel like I'm right where I want to be and I feel good, but the results haven't been there. I've just been trying to do the same stuff, and the results will eventually come, so I'm feeling pretty good with it." -- C Jason Castro, who hit a fifth-inning grand slam Thursday that led the Astros to a 4-2 win over the Texas Rangers.
--LHP Darin Downs (strained right oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 15. Downs will began a rehab assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi on Aug. 29 with the expectation that he will make two appearances before being reinstated.
--CF Alex Presley (strained right oblique muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list July 8. He began a rehab assignment with short-season Class A Tri-City on Aug. 12, but he experienced a setback Aug. 16.
--CF George Springer (strained left quadriceps) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 20. He took pregame batting practice July 29 and participated in outfield drills Aug. 1. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Quad Cities on Aug. 4, but he re-injured the leg Aug. 6. He participated in a workout Aug. 9 but still felt discomfort in his left quad. He will be out until at least late August.
--RHP Josh Zeid (left foot sesamoiditis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 25. He underwent season-ending surgery on his right foot Aug. 6, and he will undergo the same procedure on his left foot.
--RHP Jose Cisnero (right elbow discomfort) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 7, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 21. He underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery May 28.
--RHP Jesse Crain (right biceps surgery in October 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 2. He was shut down as of April 25 due to bursitis. He was throwing off flat ground as of May 6. He threw a bullpen session May 22. The Astros hope he can return before the end of the season.
--RHP Matt Albers (right shoulder stiffness) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 22, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 25. Albers threw a short bullpen session on May 4. He threw a 25-pitch bullpen session May 6. Albers was unable to throw a simulated game as scheduled May 9, and he was shut down as of May 12. He was rehabbing in Florida as of May 29. The Astros hope he can return before the end of the season.
RHP Scott Feldman
LHP Dallas Keuchel
RHP Collin McHugh
LHP Brett Oberholtzer
RHP Brad Peacock
RHP Chad Qualls (closer)
LHP Tony Sipp
RHP Jose Veras
RHP Josh Fields
RHP Jake Buchanan
RHP Mike Foltynewicz
LHP Kevin Chapman
1B Jon Singleton
2B Jose Altuve
SS Marwin Gonzalez
3B Matt Dominguez
DH Chris Carter
INF/OF Jesus Guzman
INF Gregorio Petit
LF Marc Krauss
CF Dexter Fowler
RF Robbie Grossman
OF Jake Marisnick
- Sports & Recreation
- Brett Oberholtzer
- Dallas Keuchel