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Keuchel on track to see spring game action soon

MLB.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- If he keeps progressing, Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel could be in line to appear in his first Grapefruit League game in the next 10 days or so. Keuchel, who's on an individualized throwing program this spring, threw his second live batting practice of the spring on Wednesday and came through fine.

Keuchel threw his full arsenal to hitters Jake Marisnick, Garrett Stubbs, Alejandro Garcia and Ramon Laureano on a back field at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. He's focusing on fastball command at this point and said his cutter and slider are still taking "baby steps."

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- If he keeps progressing, Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel could be in line to appear in his first Grapefruit League game in the next 10 days or so. Keuchel, who's on an individualized throwing program this spring, threw his second live batting practice of the spring on Wednesday and came through fine.

Keuchel threw his full arsenal to hitters Jake Marisnick, Garrett Stubbs, Alejandro Garcia and Ramon Laureano on a back field at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. He's focusing on fastball command at this point and said his cutter and slider are still taking "baby steps."

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"I felt good," said Keuchel, who reported to camp healthy after he was sidelined in September with shoulder inflammation. "I'm still getting into the game rhythm and facing hitters. It was the first time in a long time, it seems like. The adrenaline is a little too hyped, but once I get that calmed down I should be pretty fine. I'm working on endurance and tunneling everything out at the same time to get ready for the first game and sequence off that."

Video: Outlook: Keuchel looking to find 2015 Cy Young form

Keuchel said he will take two days off before throwing a bullpen on Saturday and then a simulated game on Tuesday, a scheduled off-day for the Astros. He said he would then be slotted into in a Grapefruit League game, which could come five days later (March 12 against the Nationals). He would still like to make five starts in Florida.

"I think all is going well and I'm progressing," he said. "The endurance is getting there. It's fun."

Odds and ends
• Catcher Brian McCann was scratched from Wednesday's lineup with a stomach ailment. Max Stassi took his spot in the starting lineup.

• Right-handed pitcher Will Harris, who left Tuesday's game with groin discomfort, isn't expected to be out long, manager A.J. Hinch said. Hinch said it was "very minor" and Harris was able to throw off flat ground Wednesday.

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

Dallas Keuchel