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'Texas guy' Pressly welcomed home by Astros

Altuve suffering from knee injury; Correa, McCann making progress on DL
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Ryan Pressly's back tattoo tells a story.

Acquired Friday from the Twins in exchange for two prospects, the Astros' newest bullpen weapon was informed of the trade late Friday night at Fenway Park. The right-handed reliever arrived in Houston following a 7:15 a.m. flight from Boston and joined his new club before Saturday's game against the Rangers.

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HOUSTON -- Ryan Pressly's back tattoo tells a story.

Acquired Friday from the Twins in exchange for two prospects, the Astros' newest bullpen weapon was informed of the trade late Friday night at Fenway Park. The right-handed reliever arrived in Houston following a 7:15 a.m. flight from Boston and joined his new club before Saturday's game against the Rangers.

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Pressly's arrival Saturday marked a return to his home state of Texas, which he says he has inked on his back. Pressly, 29, added he didn't watch the Astros' World Series run in 2017 because he went on vacation to hunt whitetail deer.

He's a "Texas guy." And he'll admit it.

"Oh yeah," he said Saturday. "Got the state tattooed on my back, so we're good."

Pressly attended high school in the Dallas Metroplex area and has faced the Astros 12 times in a six-year career with the Twins, including two scoreless relief appearances on April 9-10 in Minnesota. Astros manager AJ Hinch said the club could use Pressly anywhere from a bridge reliever in the fifth or sixth inning to a back-end arm to shut the door.

"You guys don't understand," said Pressly, "when the Astros come to town, people fear this team."

The high-caliber righty has never pitched in the postseason and held a 3.40 ERA in 51 appearances, the second-most among American League relievers prior to his Astros debut in Saturday's 7-3 loss to the Rangers. Pressly allowed a home run to the first batter he faced in the seventh inning, his first earned run surrendered since July 6.

Video: HOU@TEX: Pressly fans Beltre for 1st K with Astros

Widely regarded as a trusted bullpen arm, Pressly's 69 strikeouts were tied for sixth among relievers in the Majors before he joined the Astros. His 13.03 strikeouts per nine innings ratio was tied for eighth -- a level of versatility and skill the Astros sought to bolster their bullpen before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"It's been kind of crazy," said Pressly, who added the move to Houston, specifically, was a bit of a surprise. "Everybody here has been open arms. It's a pretty cool clubhouse. All the guys seem pretty awesome."

Astros injury notes
Altuve out of Saturday's lineup: Jose Altuve did not start for a second consecutive game Saturday while dealing with a lingering right knee injury. The All-Star second baseman said he has yet to begin recovery work and is unsure if he'll return to Houston's lineup Sunday.

Altuve said the pain in his knee began shortly before the Astros' two-game series at Colorado on Tuesday and Wednesday but has started to subside with multiple days off since being removed from Wednesday's game.

"Compared to a couple days ago, I feel way better right now," Altuve said. "I think it was worth it to take a couple days off to feel this way today."

Video: Altuve and Hinch on knee injury, return timetable

Correa takes ground balls, ramps up workload: Carlos Correa went through his most extensive workout Saturday since hitting the 10-day disabled list with a back injury a month ago, a positive step for Correa's rehab that was forced to restart because of a setback before the All-Star break.

"So, today Correa took a ton of ground balls," Hinch said. "I say a ton, but a full group of ground balls on the field early. It was the most energy and the most progress I've seen to date, even back before we shut him back down. His energy, his pace, the way he's contorting his body, the flow of his work was pretty awesome today. We'll do that again tomorrow and establish a timeline after that."

McCann returning to baseball activities: Catcher Brian McCann has begun baseball activities after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee earlier this month. McCann is hitting off a tee and not taking full batting practice quite yet.

Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

Houston Astros, Jose Altuve, Ryan Pressly