Appel ready to go after bout with tight forearm

Appel ready to go after bout with tight forearm

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros top pitching prospect Mark Appel will throw at least one time in the bullpen in the next couple of days before getting back on the mound in a Grapefruit League game, manager A.J. Hinch said on Tuesday.

The Astros sent Appel to see a doctor on Tuesday morning, one day after he experienced some tightness in his forearm while warming up to pitch. Appel proclaimed on Tuesday that he was ready to pitch in a game after playing catch in the outfield in the morning.

"He was very happy and liked how he threw," Appel said. "The next step for him will be a bullpen and we'll continue to reevaluate as we go. All signs point towards a bullpen."

Appel, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, was warming up to pitch in relief against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla., when he informed a trainer he had some tightness. Hinch then decided to take Appel out of action.

After playing catch on Tuesday morning, Appel said he was fine.

"I feel just as good as yesterday," he said. "I'm going to let them know I can pitch today, I can pitch tomorrow. Whenever they need me, I'll be ready."

Appel was asked if he regretted telling the team he was feeling discomfort because it wound up not being anything to be worried about.

"They just want to be overly cautious," he said. "It is what it is. The way I see it, I'm either healthy to where I can pitch or I can't pitch and I'm not healthy. I'm healthy and I can pitch. I'm ready to go."

Appel worked two innings and allowed three hits and one run, while striking out two batters on Thursday against the Phillies in his first spring outing. It was his first game action since last fall, when he pitched well for the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League.

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.