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Harris still on track, back at work in bullpen

All-Star reliever left his first spring outing with groin discomfort
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- All-Star reliever Will Harris has put himself in position to get back into Grapefruit League action. Harris threw in the bullpen Friday, three days after his first spring outing of the season was cut short with what he called groin discomfort.

Harris said earlier Friday he's typically been a slow starter in the spring, but he expects to be able to complete his typical spring workload.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- All-Star reliever Will Harris has put himself in position to get back into Grapefruit League action. Harris threw in the bullpen Friday, three days after his first spring outing of the season was cut short with what he called groin discomfort.

Harris said earlier Friday he's typically been a slow starter in the spring, but he expects to be able to complete his typical spring workload.

"I think usually the average is around seven to eight outings [in the spring], somewhere around in there," he said. "We've still got a month left in camp, so I've got plenty of time to get my innings in."

Harris threw 10 pitches Tuesday in his first spring outing before calling manager A.J. Hinch to the mound. He had been feeling some discomfort in the bullpen, didn't want to push it any further and came out of the game.

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"He did exactly what you're supposed to do as a player when he felt a little uncomfortable: He shut it down rather than push, and that's precisely the reason why we're optimistic that over the next few days he's going to increase and get back to normal," Hinch said.

Harris, who agreed to a two-year, $5 million contract in the offseason to avoid arbitration, said he's working on pitch location this spring, and how to attack certain hitters. Last year, Harris went 1-2 with a 2.25 ERA and 12 saves in 66 appearances. In two seasons with the Astros, he has a 2.07 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 137 games.

"I'm trying to command pitches a little better, trying to do what I do well and being able to throw different counts in different parts of the zone," he said. "As far as the pitches, not any different, but my approach to pitching in certain counts to certain hitters is what I'm trying to work on. Don't be so one-dimensional in my approach to every hitter."

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, Will Harris