Astros expect Feldman to be out 6 weeks

Right-hander placed on disabled list after surgery for torn meniscus

Astros expect Feldman to be out 6 weeks

HOUSTON -- The Astros placed right-handed pitcher Scott Feldman on the 15-day disabled list Friday after he underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus earlier in the day. He's expected to be out about six weeks, the club said.

Houston recalled Michael Feliz from Double-A Corpus Christi.

Feldman (4-4, 4.80 ERA in 10 starts) sustained the injury during his start Tuesday at Baltimore while fielding a ground ball. He had ice on the knee after the game, but said at the time he didn't think it was anything to worry about.

"He was able to continue pitching, and when he came out, we checked on him and had the doctor look at it [Thursday] and did an MRI and realized we had to do a procedure," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "Fortunately, he's going to be able to get back on his feet fairly quickly. We don't know exactly how long he's going to be out. It could be four weeks, it could be six weeks. But we're going to be conservative and plan for six weeks."

The loss of Feldman punches a big hole in a rotation that is already thin at the bottom. Left-hander Brett Oberholtzer, who's been on the DL for a blister all season -- with the exception of one start -- will be activated and start Monday's game against Baltimore.

"It's difficult to lose one of your veteran players who's pitched pretty well," manager A.J. Hinch said. "His quality starts will be missed. He's a real stable part of our club, and to lose him for five or six weeks is a tough blow. It is time for the next guy to step up and do his part to keep moving forward. I'm always happy handing the ball to Feldman every five days. This will be a little setback we'll have to overcome."

The hard-throwing Feliz has appeared in only one game at Double-A after being promoted from Class A Advanced Lancaster, striking out seven batters in four innings of relief on Tuesday. He was 1-1 in eight appearances (six starts) at Lancaster with a 4.41 ERA with 12 walks and 33 strikeouts. In nine overall Minor League appearances, Feliz has 40 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings.

Top Prospects: Feliz, HOU

"We're still developing him as a starter, but we figured this was a good opportunity for him to come up and help us out of the bullpen," Luhnow said. "We're at full strength because Scott wasn't scheduled to pitch until next week and whoever we plug in, we'll plug right into that spot. He's on the roster and has been pitching well and can help us out of the bullpen, and we'll take it from there."

Hinch said Feliz, 21, would be used in long relief initially. Feliz is one of the hardest throwers in Minor League baseball and can touch 100 mph, so he can bring some heat from the 'pen.

"We like what we saw in Spring Training," Hinch said. "He's got a power arm and someone that needs to get acclimated to the big leagues. I'm not sure how long he'll be here or how long he'll pitch, but it was a good opportunity to at least get him up here and give him a test."

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