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Astros to push back Musgrove's return

MLB.com @brianmctaggart

Rookie right-hander David Paulino will make his second start of the season for the Astros on Tuesday in Kansas City in place of Joe Musgrove, who's not quite ready to come off the disabled list. Musgrove (shoulder discomfort) is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday, but manager A.J. Hinch said the team isn't ready to ramp up Musgrove yet.

"He's responded well to the treatments," Hinch said. "He's feeling better than when we put him on the DL, but we're going to push him back continually and just see where it fits later in the week. He won't pitch in the Kansas City series. We'll reevaluate the Anaheim series when we get closer to the weekend, but Paulino will go on Tuesday."

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Rookie right-hander David Paulino will make his second start of the season for the Astros on Tuesday in Kansas City in place of Joe Musgrove, who's not quite ready to come off the disabled list. Musgrove (shoulder discomfort) is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday, but manager A.J. Hinch said the team isn't ready to ramp up Musgrove yet.

"He's responded well to the treatments," Hinch said. "He's feeling better than when we put him on the DL, but we're going to push him back continually and just see where it fits later in the week. He won't pitch in the Kansas City series. We'll reevaluate the Anaheim series when we get closer to the weekend, but Paulino will go on Tuesday."

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Musgrove (4-4, 4.89 ERA) came down with shoulder discomfort a week ago while preparing for his bullpen session two days throwing a season-high 102 pitches in seven scoreless innings on May 26 against Baltimore. He said he recently had a cortisone injection into the shoulder.

"I'm definitely feeling a lot better than I was about five days ago, so it's been continuously getting better every day, but the cortisone shot and everything made me pretty sore," Musgrove said. "Just kind of getting through that soreness for right now, and once my body feels good enough to go out and throw, that's when I'm really going to get going with everything."

Musgrove hasn't thrown since going on the DL, which could be a sign that the DL stint could linger for a while. Still, the Astros are optimistic."

"We don't feel like it's anything that we're worried about, but for the time being, we're going to go the conservative route and push him back another start," Hinch said. "He's eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday, so we really can insert him whenever we want, but we're not going to mess with the way we're pitching."

The 6-foot-7 Paulino allowed two runs and five hits and struck out eight batters in four innings Wednesday in Minnesota in his season debut and second career start. He went on the DL with a bone bruise in his elbow at the end of Spring Training and was activated on May 12. He made three starts at Triple-A Fresno, allowing 11 hits and nine walks while striking out 13 batters in 14 innings (0-1, 4.50 ERA). Paulino appeared in three games last September in his Major League debut, making one start, going 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA.

Mike Fiers (2-2, 4.06 ERA), coming off his best start of the season, will start Monday's series opener in Kansas City. Dallas Keuchel (9-0, 1.67 ERA) and Lance McCullers Jr. (6-1, 2.71 ERA) will follow Paulino and start Wednesday and Thursday at the Royals.

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

Houston Astros, Joe Musgrove