Astros' starters making progress in rehabs

June 18th, 2017

HOUSTON -- As the Astros prepared to hit the West Coast for a weeklong road trip beginning Monday in Oakland, all four of their injured starting pitchers -- right-handers , , Charlie Morton and -- will soon take steps forward in their rehabs.

"I like that they're all progressing and the key is to not have setbacks or have to shut guys down," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I won't feel a ton better until I see they're legitimate options for us."

Here's the latest on all four pitchers, as provided by Hinch pregame Sunday:

• Keuchel, who went on the disabled list on June 5 with neck discomfort, is going to start playing catch on Monday in Oakland. He should progress to throwing bullpen sessions not long after that, but he isn't expected to return to the rotation while the team is on the road.

"He's only been down for a week as far as not playing catch," Hinch said. "That will be good for him to get up and running. We'll have a lot more information on how he feels once he actually gets out and plays catch."

• McCullers Jr., on the DL since June 9 with lower back discomfort, will throw in the bullpen Monday or Tuesday in Oakland and he's tentatively scheduled to return to the rotation next weekend in Seattle, Hinch said.

• Morton, on the DL since May 25 with a right lat strain, will throw in the bullpen on Monday in Oakland, which will be his last test before he goes out on a Minor League rehab assignment next week and faces hitters. That's likely to happen Thursday in Triple-A Fresno.

"We'll be on the West Coast so you can imagine Fresno is pretty close by," Hinch said. "It would be a likely destination for him. We would test him one more time in the 'pen."

• McHugh, who's been out since the end of spring with a posterior impingement in his right elbow, will fly to Florida on Monday to continue his rehab at the team's facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. Hinch compared it to the start of McHugh's Spring Training.

"He's going to throw to hitters down there as sort of a live BP session that he normally would do in Spring Training before that graduates into a more extensive rehab assignment," Hinch said.

Meanwhile, outfielder , who's on the seven-day DL with a mild concussion, remains on scheduled to be activated from the DL on Tuesday.