Astros adjusting after Oberholtzer optioned

Hinch believes bullpen can handle extra load, but starter will be needed in Boston

Astros adjusting after Oberholtzer optioned

HOUSTON -- After he was ejected for throwing at Alex Rodriguez in the second inning of Saturday's 9-6 loss to the Yankees, Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer was optioned to Triple-A Fresno.

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That, he said, was easy to handle. There was another facet of his brief outing that hurt the hurler more.

"That wasn't too hard to deal with, it was just more so letting my team down," Oberholtzer said Saturday. "Bullpen had to wear it today. We made a good little comeback there, but obviously it's not a good look to come out in the second inning."

Assessing his suddenly overworked bullpen on Sunday, Astros manager A.J. Hinch was optimistic his relievers could adapt and go multiple innings if needed.

Former starter Roberto Hernandez was impressive in 3 2/3 innings of one-hit ball on Saturday, while Josh Fields also chipped in with two scoreless innings.

Houston called up Michael Feliz on Saturday after Oberholtzer was optioned, and Hinch said he can either be stretched out or used for short work. Luke Gregerson hasn't thrown since Wednesday, so he's available.

Oberholtzer's gap in the rotation may be a more fluid situation. Hinch said the Astros will need a starter either on Friday or Saturday in Boston, depending on how deep into Sunday's game Collin McHugh lasts. If McHugh, who threw 114 pitches in his last outing, needs an extra day of rest, the Astros would need a starter on Friday. If he can throw on normal rest, Saturday's spot would need to be filled.

Hinch mentioned his "usual suspects" when speculating who could fill that role -- Hernandez, Asher Wojciechowski and Dan Straily.

"We have plenty of pitching," Hinch said. "But any time you go into a game having to use four or five pitchers the day before, it's unsettling."

Worth noting

Hinch said Scott Feldman -- recovering from a torn medial meniscus -- will throw a simulated game in Houston either Tuesday or Wednesday, a step Hinch said could lead to "an assignment of some sort against competition."

Jake Marisnick, who went on the DL on June 19 with a left hamstring strain, is taking full batting practice, fielding fly balls and has run the bases.

"He's not quite back to 100 percent, but hopefully by the end of this homestand, there's a chance that he gets out and plays. We're hopeful," Hinch said.

Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.