NEW YORK -- Astros manager AJ Hinch said the early prognosis on catcher Brian McCann, who went on the disabled list Tuesday with a sore right knee and flew to Houston to be examined by team doctors, was encouraging, though he didn't have an update on his timetable."The doctors were
NEW YORK -- Astros manager AJ Hinch said the early prognosis on catcher Brian McCann, who went on the disabled list Tuesday with a sore right knee and flew to Houston to be examined by team doctors, was encouraging, though he didn't have an update on his timetable.
"The doctors were fairly optimistic things are in good shape, but we really don't have an update other than that," Hinch said.
McCann, 34, is hitting .219 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 114 at-bats this year, but he was in a 1-for-26 slump when he went on the DL. McCann was on the DL last August with right knee soreness, and he rebounded well enough to catch nearly every inning of the Astros' playoff run.
Meanwhile, outfielder Josh Reddick increased his baseball activity Wednesday while working at Minute Maid Park, Hinch said. Reddick has been on the disabled list for a week with a mysterious infection above his left knee.
"He did some baseball things that are encouraging for him as well," Hinch said. "We're hopeful it's a little bit faster [return] for him. It's been a little bit hot and cold depending on when he can start baseball activities. Now that he started that today, we'll see how we can increase that."
Hinch wasn't sure if Reddick would need a Minor League rehab outing when he's healthy.
For Rondon, 'change' is good
Veteran relief pitcher Hector Rondon has started incorporating a power changeup this year, Hinch said. Rondon, signed in the offseason to help bolster the bullpen, has been one of the Astros' most effective relief pitchers this year, entering Wednesday with a 1.80 ERA (1.42 in his last 14 appearances).
"He's been a bridge for us, and he's got experience in the back end," Hinch said. "He's someone who is very reliable. … I've been very careful with him, but I feel like he's had a good contribution so far."
Hinch said Rondon was talking with some of the relievers about their changeup and began tinkering with one during his bullpen sessions. He started using it in games and has had good results, though his slider remains his best pitch, especially to right-handers.
"Everything keys off his ability to locate his pitches with the high-end stuff he has," Hinch said. "I do think the changeup has been a key for him the last couple of weeks. It's been an interesting development."
Rondon has struck out 23 batters against three walks.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.