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Prospect Velasquez shut down in AFL with strained lat

Right-hander exits in first inning Tuesday; injury considered to be minor
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Right-handed pitcher Vincent Velasquez, the Astros' No. 8-ranked prospect, won't make his final scheduled start in the Arizona Fall League next week after straining his right lat in a game Tuesday.

Velasquez, who gave up four hits and three runs in two-thirds of an inning for the Salt River Rafters, classified the injury Wednesday as minor and one that shouldn't impede his ability to be ready for Spring Training next year.

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Right-handed pitcher Vincent Velasquez, the Astros' No. 8-ranked prospect, won't make his final scheduled start in the Arizona Fall League next week after straining his right lat in a game Tuesday.

Velasquez, who gave up four hits and three runs in two-thirds of an inning for the Salt River Rafters, classified the injury Wednesday as minor and one that shouldn't impede his ability to be ready for Spring Training next year.

Full Game Coverage

"I don't even know what led to it, to be honest with you," he said. "There's a lot of things that may have led to it, and I just can't figure it out. I can't give a definite answer on that because I don't know. I'll just stay here and hang out with the guys and enjoy watching baseball."

Astros farm director Quinton McCracken isn't concerned.

"It doesn't seem like anything too major," McCracken said. "We spoke with our trainers here in the Fall League, and our trainer, Jamey Snodgrass. Lats are pretty cumbersome, and with one more start, we're going to go ahead and shut him down and let him heal up."

Velasquez, 22, missed two months last season with a strained groin and all of the 2011 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. When healthy, he had a nice year at Class A Lancaster, going 7-4 with a 3.74 ERA in 15 games (10 starts) and was 2-1 with a 4.85 ERA and 12 strikeouts for Salt River entering Tuesday.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Houston Astros, Vincent Velasquez