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Whitley, Alvarez selected to Futures Game

Right-hander's participation in question due to oblique strain
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Astros top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley has been diagnosed with a left oblique strain after his start Thursday night at Double-A Corpus Christi, general manager Jeff Luhnow said Friday. Whitley will be examined by team doctors in Houston on Monday.

Whitley, the Astros' top pitching prospect and the club's No. 2 overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, recorded two outs in the first inning against Arkansas on Thursday, throwing 17 pitches.

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HOUSTON -- Astros top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley has been diagnosed with a left oblique strain after his start Thursday night at Double-A Corpus Christi, general manager Jeff Luhnow said Friday. Whitley will be examined by team doctors in Houston on Monday.

Whitley, the Astros' top pitching prospect and the club's No. 2 overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, recorded two outs in the first inning against Arkansas on Thursday, throwing 17 pitches.

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The 2016 first-rounder has appeared in six games this season (all starts), posting an 0-1 record, a 4.29 ERA and 30 strikeouts across 21 innings for Corpus Christi after serving a 50-game suspension to start the season.

Tweet from @ChrisThomasson7: Here's higher quality video of @MLB top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley's short outing for the @CCHooks tonight before leaving hurt after just two outs. The @Astros are calling it an oblique injury.@kiii3sports @kiii3news #3SportsBlitz #Astros pic.twitter.com/l1SFJgmumx

Whitley and outfielder Yordan Alvarez, ranked by MLB.com as the Astros' No. 3 prospect, were selected to participate in the the 2018 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which will be played at 3 p.m. CT on July 15 at Nationals Park. Alvarez will be on the World Team and Whitley was named to the U.S. Team, but his status for that event is likely now in question.

McCann eyes return this season

Days after surgery repaired a torn meniscus, Brian McCann said he expects to return during the 2018 regular season from a long-avoided procedure to repair his right knee.

McCann, 34 underwent successful arthroscopic surgery Tuesday. On Friday, in his first remarks to reporters since the procedure, McCann said he feels "100 percent" and believes he will return at some point in the regular season.

"It wasn't stable," McCann said of an injury that's sent him to the 10-day disabled list multiple times in multiple seasons. "I could deal with the pain, but it was getting to the point where I couldn't swing a bat. I had no stability in my knee. It would give out on me when I would go to swing. It was just affecting the way I was playing baseball. It needed to be done."

While splitting catching duties for half of the season with Max Stassi, McCann is batting .206 with 32 hits in 155 at-bats. As for McCann's return, it will not be in July, Astros manager AJ Hinch said.

"It won't be this month," he said. "We'll see how it is at the tail end of next month, into September. The good news is everybody is saying the right things and feeling optimistic."

Worth noting

• The Astros traded right-handed pitcher James Hoyt to the Indians in exchange for Minor League right-hander Tommy DeJuneas. Hoyt appeared in 43 games for the Astros last season and 22 games in 2016 and threw one-third of an inning for Houston this season. DeJuneas will be assigned to Class A Advanced Buies Creek.

• Alvarez was promoted to Triple-A Fresno from Corpus Christi on Friday after hitting .325 (55-for-169) with 13 doubles, 12 home runs, 46 RBIs and a 1.005 OPS in 43 games for the Hooks this season. He replaces outfielder Jon Kemmer, who was traded to the Twins for cash considerations.

• The Astros also announced Friday the Houston Sports Authority Board of Directors will vote at its public board meeting Monday to approve an extension of the Astros' lease at Minute Maid Park. The meeting is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. CT on Monday on the second floor of Partnership Tower and will include Astros owner Jim Crane, Houston mayor Sylvester Turner, chairman of Houston Sports Authority J. Kent Friendman, Houston Sports Authority CEO Janis Burke and Harris County judge Ed Emmett. The Astros' original lease agreement for the ballpark, their home since 2000, was set to expire in March 2030.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Christian Boutwell, a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston, contributed to this report.

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