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Presley joins banged-up Astros for depth

Outfielders Marisnick, Rasmus nearing conclusion of rehab stints

BOSTON -- The Astros' outfield depth is being put to the test with two starters -- Jake Marisnick and George Springer -- on the disabled list and part-time starter Colby Rasmus having spent three days in the hospital because a skin infection caused by some sort of bite.

Veteran outfielder Alex Presley joined the team Friday and started in center field after spending the entire first three months of the season at Triple-A Fresno. Marisnick, who was scheduled to play his third and final rehab game for Fresno on Friday, is expected to join the club Sunday in Boston. Rasmus was cleared to play Friday and could start Saturday.

"I'm excited, especially coming back to a team in the position that it's in," said Presley, who hit .308 with 12 doubles, and 35 RBIs in 64 games at Fresno. "It makes it even better to come in here and contribute and help the team win. I'm pumped."

Marisnick, who has been out since June 19 with a left hamstring strain, was scheduled to play nine innings in the outfield at El Paso on Friday night. Because Saturday's game in Boston is an afternoon start, the earliest he could get to Fenway Park is Sunday.

Rasmus, meanwhile, played with a 100-degree fever last Friday against the Yankees and wound up staying in the hospital from Sunday through Wednesday. The undiagnosed bite to his left wrist turned into a skin infection so severe his arm turned red and the lymph nodes in his elbow and neck were swollen. He was on a steady stream of antibiotics.

"I was laid up in the bed a few days, a little dehydrated until the antibiotics starting kicking in," he said. "Something bit me, for sure, three times. We're not sure what it was because there wasn't a point in time I was like, 'Oh, something bit me.' I grew up in the woods, so I've been bit by a bunch of things. It might have been something freak that happened, one of them things."

With Marisnick set to return soon -- and perhaps shortstop Jed Lowrie by the end of the month -- manager A.J. Hinch is hoping the team's injury news begins to take a turn for the better. Starting pitcher Scott Feldman (knee surgery) is on a Minor League rehab assignment and could return after the All-Star break, as well.

"We're going to get healthier as this month continues," Hinch said. "So I think our depth's going to be tested, but it is what it is. This team's got to be tough enough to deal with the questions that come with dealing with a couple injuries. We'll adapt. We've adapted pretty well. If you look back at our season so far, we've had stretches where there's been a number of guys that have been out and we've been able to endure that. We'll keep pushing forward."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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