HOUSTON -- The Astros placed All-Star right-hander Charlie Morton on the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday with right shoulder discomfort. Morton, who threw 4 2/3 innings on Tuesday, is only expected to miss one start. Right-handed reliever Chris Devenski was activated from the DL.
"We're just talking about getting a blow," Morton said. "This is not a phantom thing. My shoulder is a little irritated and tired. I think we were hoping to buy a little time, and it just so happened to fall on a few days here we could get somebody in, so unfortunately, I've got to go on the DL."
Morton has thrown 152 innings in 26 starts this year, going 13-3 with a 3.14 ERA. In the past two seasons, including the postseason, he's gone 29-11 with a 3.44 ERA in 322 innings pitched, which are the most innings he's thrown in any two consecutive seasons in his career.
"The more we thought about it, the more we felt like a clean DL stint for him, even though it's going to be minimal, was the right thing to do and push him all the way back to the 10 days," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "There was a consideration we were going to come every day to see if we wanted to insert him back in the rotation, but the way the schedule is playing out, the off-day before the Red Sox series (Sept. 7-10 in Boston), the 10 days takes us up to that series. The hope and expectation, quite frankly, is he'll be back in that series."
The Astros will have to find a replacement for Morton's spot in the rotation on Saturday. Justin Verlander will start Thursday's game against the Angels, followed by rookie lefty Framber Valdez on Friday. Gerrit Cole will start Sunday.
The Astros had used only five starting pitchers all season until Brad Peacock made a spot start on Aug. 21 in place of Lance McCullers, who went on DL Aug. 5 with a muscle strain in his right forearm. Valdez threw 4 1/3 innings in relief of Peacock before making his first big league start on Sunday in Anaheim.
Devenski was set to be activated Saturday when rosters expand, but he was available for Wednesday's game, though he did not pitch in the Astros' 5-4 win over the A's. He missed the entire month of August with a groin strain after posting a 4.19 ERA in 38 2/3 innings in relief.