Wojciechowski pumped up to be healthy, competing

After missing all of last year's camp, young hurler one of several Astros fifth-starter hopefuls

Wojciechowski pumped up to be healthy, competing

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Right-hander Asher Wojciechowski may have been one of the most excited players to hit Astros camp this year, for no other reason than he was finally healthy after missing all of last year's camp with a strained right lat muscle.

Wojciechowski, 26, suffered the injury throwing in the bullpen prior to Spring Training, and he wound up opening the season on the disabled list. He started for Triple-A Oklahoma City on May 21 and strained a forearm flexor and missed nearly a month.

"I'm just excited to be healthy and be able to throw," he said. "Last year was pretty upsetting, but this year it's just feeling great and it's just awesome just to be able to be healthy and just compete."

When he finally got on the mound, Wojciechowski appeared in 15 games (14 starts) at Oklahoma City and was 4-4 with a 4.74 ERA, including 3-1 with a 3.11 ERA in his final six starts. That set him up to come to camp competing for a spot in the Astros' rotation.

"It was tough, especially when I felt like I was gaining ground to be able to get healthy and throw, and I would have a setback and start back to where I was and not be able to do anything," he said. "It's pretty frustrating, but compared to now, I'm very excited to be able to throw and play baseball."

Wojciechowski, acquired in a trade with Toronto in 2012, is competing with Dan Straily, Roberto Hernandez, Brad Peacock, Alex White, Jake Buchanan and Samuel Deduno for the fifth spot in the rotation, though Hernandez has yet to report and Peacock is recovering from an injury.

"I just kind of control what I can control, and that's what I do," Wojciechowski said. "We had a great group of guys here and just happy to be here and excited for whatever's in store, and I'm just going to work hard and see what happens."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.