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Astros' bullpen about to get a boost

Harris, Sipp close to returning from disabled list
Special to MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- The Astros are hoping to get back a trio of injured relievers in Will Harris, Tony Sipp and Michael Feliz, as they hit the final stretch of the season with a sizable first-place lead in the American League West.

Harris is likely the closest to making a return. The former All-Star, who's missed the last 27 games with shoulder inflammation, threw 30 pitches Saturday in a game with Triple-A Fresno.

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ANAHEIM -- The Astros are hoping to get back a trio of injured relievers in Will Harris, Tony Sipp and Michael Feliz, as they hit the final stretch of the season with a sizable first-place lead in the American League West.

Harris is likely the closest to making a return. The former All-Star, who's missed the last 27 games with shoulder inflammation, threw 30 pitches Saturday in a game with Triple-A Fresno.

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"Probably good for his conditioning but obviously not normal for a reliever to throw 30-plus pitches," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.

Hinch said the team is still evaluating whether Harris will need another rehab outing. He has a 2.86 ERA through 34 appearances this season with the Astros.

Sipp is going to make another rehab appearance with Fresno before being reinstated from the 10-day disabled list. He's been out since Aug. 1 with right calf soreness. Sipp would join Francisco Liriano as the only other lefty in the Astros bullpen.

Feliz (shoulder discomfort) is still on a rehab assignment with Fresno but it's unclear if he'll rejoin the Astros when healthy.

Hinch has been able to lighten the workload amongst his bullpen thanks to its 1.77 ERA in August, which led the Majors entering Saturday's game against the Astros.

"I can give these guys rest and I can also trust any of them in high-leverage situations," Hinch said. "It's a good problem to have."

Astros travel plans up in the air

The Astros will leave Anaheim after Sunday's series finale, but where they'll be heading is still unclear with Hurricane Harvey making landfall.

"We're probably going to go somewhere in the state of Texas, either Dallas or Houston, depending on the weather and the safety of getting back into Houston," Hinch said.

The Astros and Rangers are slated to begin a three-game set starting Tuesday at Minute Maid Park.

Worth noting

Jose Altuve was back in the lineup Saturday and batting third after sitting out Friday's series opener with neck discomfort.

"I think the day off was good for him and we don't have any concerns this is lingering," Hinch said.

Carlos Correa was expected to play an entire game at shortstop Saturday for Fresno, depending on the length of the game. He's also expected to serve as the designated hitter Sunday, which would mark the first back-to-back appearances of his rehab assignment for a torn ligament in his left thumb.

• Hinch said Lance McCullers Jr. will likely make his next rehab start in the middle of next week with Double-A Corpus Christi, as they travel to Frisco. McCullers, who made his first rehab outing Friday with Triple-A Fresno, has been out since July 31 with back discomfort.

Ryan Posner is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles. He covered the Astros on Saturday.

Houston Astros, Will Harris, Tony Sipp