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McCullers has 'another good day' with sim game

MLB.com @brianmctaggart

HOUSTON -- Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr., who went on the disabled list Aug. 5 with a muscle strain in his right forearm, continues to rehab at the team's Spring Training complex in West Palm Beach, Fla., with hopes of returning for the final week of the regular season.

McCullers threw his second simulated game Tuesday morning, facing three hitters. He threw around 30 pitches after a full warmup and sat down in the middle of his session to simulate pitching two innings.

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HOUSTON -- Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr., who went on the disabled list Aug. 5 with a muscle strain in his right forearm, continues to rehab at the team's Spring Training complex in West Palm Beach, Fla., with hopes of returning for the final week of the regular season.

McCullers threw his second simulated game Tuesday morning, facing three hitters. He threw around 30 pitches after a full warmup and sat down in the middle of his session to simulate pitching two innings.

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"He had another good day," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "It was very similar to what he had the other day. He's still a little erratic getting back on the mound, but the fastball seems to be hovering in the low 90s, the breaking ball is there and the changeup."

McCullers will throw another simulated game Friday or Saturday, Hinch said. Ideally, the Astros would like to get McCullers into a game or two in the final week of the season out of the bullpen to gauge his readiness for being on the playoff roster.

"We're running out of schedule so we need to push him a little bit," Hinch said. "It will all depend on how things go this weekend."

Worth noting
• Hinch said veteran outfielder Josh Reddick wanted to play Tuesday, one day after leaving Monday's game after four innings with a sore Achilles tendon.

"The plea to play started at about 11:30 last night and it's continued throughout the day, so I know he feels OK," Hinch said. "He's day to day and we'll see how he feels tomorrow and into the off-day on Thursday."

• With the Astros still pushing for a playoff spot, Hinch said Charlie Morton would start Sunday's home finale against the Angels at Minute Maid Park, with Dallas Keuchel opening the final road trip of the season Monday in Toronto. The rest of the pitching rotation depends upon when the Astros clinch the division. Morton's wife is expecting a baby next week, which could alter Hinch's plans.

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, Lance McCullers Jr.