"As a manager, I always fear the 18-inning game, the situations where we need [Deduno]," Hinch said. "If he's not used tonight, Sam will be it tomorrow."
The fifth starting spot has been a bit of a revolving door for the Astros so far. Asher Wojciechowski had his shot but posted a 9.75 ERA in three starts, Brad Peacock is recovering from an intercostal strain after a spot start two weeks ago and lefty Brett Oberholtzer is making his first rehab start Friday with Triple-A Fresno.
"We're going to continue to give players opportunities until they lock it down themselves by their performance," said general manager Jeff Luhnow. "Oberholtzer starting [in Triple-A], he was a guy who was a big part of our rotation these last couple of years. We want him back up to full strength to see what he can do.
"It's nice though that Sammy gets a chance to start -- Jerome [Williams] was in that long-relief spot last year and never got a chance. Then he went to another club and did OK as a starter. We don't want that long role to be a place where you don't have a shot to get to the rotation."
The 31-year-old Deduno has pitched in five games so far this season, posting a 2.89 ERA in 9 1/3 innings. The Dominican native has started 42 games in his career, including a similar spot start in 2014 with Houston when he lasted four innings against the Mets while allowing no runs.
Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.