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Notes: Pressly (elbow) nears 2020 debut

@RichardJustice
July 31, 2020

Astros manager Dusty Baker said reliever Ryan Pressly could make his season debut as early as Saturday after missing the beginning of the season with a sore elbow. “He's feeling pretty good, feeling better,” Baker said. “Not sure about his availability. But you know what, he assured me yesterday that

Astros manager Dusty Baker said reliever Ryan Pressly could make his season debut as early as Saturday after missing the beginning of the season with a sore elbow.

“He's feeling pretty good, feeling better,” Baker said. “Not sure about his availability. But you know what, he assured me yesterday that he was feeling better.”

As for designated hitter Yordan Alvarez and rookie right-hander Jose Urquidy, Baker said Urquidy is closer to being back. Both players have been working out at the alternate training site in Corpus Christi.

“I talked to Urquidy, and I think he’s probably more advanced than Yordan, even though pitchers are usually a little bit behind,” Baker said. “Yordan is up to 30 swings, and he’s probably a little bit behind Urquidy.

“It depends on whether we’re trying to get Urquidy ready to be a starter or a reliever. We might need him in a relieving role before I need him in a starting role.”

Different homecoming for Taylor
Rookie left-hander Blake Taylor is back in his native Southern California, although the trip isn’t quite the way he imagined it would go when he was going to Angel Stadium as a kid and dreaming of the big leagues. In the world of COVID-19, he will not see or visit with his family.

“My family understands the sacrifices that have to be made,” he said. “I told my family that it was best for me, my teammates, and for their families not to see me.

“I don't want to get COVID, and I don't want to give it to anybody or anybody else's family. I just don't want to take any chances right now."

Taylor entered Friday with three scoreless appearances covering 4 2/3 innings. The Astros acquired him in a trade with the Mets last offseason.

Worth noting
• The Astros' three-man taxi squad for this road trip includes right-handers Humberto Castellanos and Carlos Sanabria and catcher Michael Papierski. All three are with the club, but not part of the 30-man roster.

• The Astros officially announced the signing of 42-year-old Fernando Rodney, who was assigned to the team’s alternate training site. He’d been pitching in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land in the Atlantic League.

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.