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Astros' McCann has surgery; Stassi day to day

Hours after veteran catcher placed on DL, position mate exits following HBP
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

ARLINGTON -- On the day the Astros lost veteran catcher Brian McCann for several weeks following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, the Astros breathed a sigh of relief when catcher Max Stassi suffered no more than a contusion on his right wrist when he was hit by a pitch in the first inning Tuesday.

Stassi is listed as day to day after being struck on a pitch thrown by Rangers starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said the indention of the stitches of the seam of the baseball were visible on Stassi's wrist, but X-rays were negative.

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ARLINGTON -- On the day the Astros lost veteran catcher Brian McCann for several weeks following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, the Astros breathed a sigh of relief when catcher Max Stassi suffered no more than a contusion on his right wrist when he was hit by a pitch in the first inning Tuesday.

Stassi is listed as day to day after being struck on a pitch thrown by Rangers starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said the indention of the stitches of the seam of the baseball were visible on Stassi's wrist, but X-rays were negative.

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"He just couldn't flex his hand," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "He had no mobility, so we took him out to go get him checked out by the doctors and all that stuff. So far, so good. I'll feel good when he can be mobile a little bit [with it]. He's pretty sore, but at least the first diagnosis is we avoided an injury that would really hurt us."

Said Stassi: "It squared me up pretty good. I couldn't move it around at first, but I got some treatment on it. It's a contusion and I'll be back soon."

Tweet from @brianmctaggart: Max Stassi talks about his injury and shows off the indention of the stitches pic.twitter.com/Oq8jZYZSsw

The Astros placed McCann on the 10-day disabled list earlier Tuesday, and Luhnow later revealed the veteran catcher underwent surgery in Houston. Luhnow didn't say specifically what the procedure addressed, however.

"We feel good, optimistic that it's going to resolve the issue that kept recurring," Luhnow said. "I don't have a timeframe. We expect him back in September to get ready for October, but I'm not going to give you a number of weeks, because I'd be guessing at this point."

The Astros placed McCann on the disabled list Tuesday with a sore right knee for the second time this season and recalled catcher Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Fresno. He took over for Stassi when he was struck by a pitch. Stassi entered Tuesday hitting .255 with seven homers and 22 RBIs.

Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis has extensive Major League experience catching, but has been limited to DH duties this year except for a couple of innings behind the plate in May. He has caught in 241 games in his career with the Braves and Astros. Prospect Garrett Stubbs, a left-handed-hitter, is hitting .331 at Triple-A Fresno and could make his debut this September, if not earlier, Luhnow said.

Luhnow didn't rule out trying to get a catcher on the trade market.

"Catching can come and go, as we just saw," he said. "Now that [Federowicz] is up, we've got Stubbs, but beyond that, we don't have a lot of depth. We're certainly going to look at depth options as well as 25-man roster options, but we don't feel like we're in a situation we have to do something. We're going to continue to look at ways to improve the club, and if that involves bringing in a catcher, we'll look at it."

McCann, 34, was on the DL from May 29-June 8 with right knee soreness, and he spent time on the DL with the same injury last August before catching all but a half-inning of the Astros' run to the World Series championship.

Smith activated

The Astros activated reliever Joe Smith from the 10-day disabled list Tuesday and optioned first baseman AJ Reed to Fresno. Smith was placed on the DL with right elbow soreness on June 10 and missed 23 games, though he did throw a pair of rehab outings at Double-A Corpus Christi.

"I'm going to try to get him into a game as soon as possible to continue his build back to being available every single day," Hinch said of Smith, who had a 1.74 ERA in his 12 appearances prior to going on the DL. "We're happy with the second outing [at Corpus Christi]. It's something we felt he needed, and our bullpen is realigned the way we originally had it."

Checking on Correa

Shortstop Carlos Correa has been working out in Houston while he spends time on the DL with lower back soreness. Correa, who is eligible to come off the DL on Friday, has yet to do any baseball drills, Hinch said. He hasn't played since June 25.

Video: HOU@TB: Correa progressing, placed on 10-day DL

"The good news is that everything has been a step forward," Hinch said. "The uncertainty is we haven't done any baseball activities yet, so we don't know how that's going to impact his timeline until we get home after [Wednesday] night's game. I don't know whether he's going to be able to play when his time on the DL is up, but I do know he's getting better and better and the day he is able to play, we'll make sure he's in there."

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Houston Astros, Tim Federowicz, Brian McCann, Joe Smith