Feldman hoping to miss only one start

Feldman hoping to miss only one start

HOUSTON -- Astros starting pitcher Scott Feldman hopes to miss only one start after he was forced to leave Tuesday's game against the Mariners with right shoulder discomfort. Feldman, who underwent an MRI on Wednesday and got an injection into the shoulder to calm the inflammation, will rest for two or three days before picking up a baseball.

Feldman said the MRI showed some irritation and inflammation but no structural damage, which was perhaps the best news possible. Feldman is 5-5 with a 3.90 ERA in 18 starts, but was terrific in August, posting a 1.33 ERA in four starts (27 innings).

"It's relieving all around," said Feldman, who admitted his shoulder was a little tight after his start in New York last week. "I don't want any structural damage in your shoulder. It's a big relief, and hopefully, like I said, it's a couple of extra days off and we can go from there."

Fortunately for the Astros, they have a deep starting-pitching rotation and have been using six starters for the last couple of weeks, though not in any order. With a couple of days off in the next week and five other healthy starters, the Astros could easily skip Feldman a time or two without putting stress on the rest of the starters.

Plus, Vincent Velasquez, who pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief of Feldman on Tuesday, is stretched out and could make a start, and rosters can be expanded, allowing the Astros to call up another arm if need be.

"We're going to need some more depth," manager A.J. Hinch said. "We certainly want our guys to experience some more playoff baseball in the Minor Leagues, but I could see us reaching into that group for another arm, maybe sooner rather than later given the state of our [pitching]."

Worth noting

• Hinch said lefty reliever Tony Sipp continues to deal with some back soreness and has limited availability. Sipp was supposed to play catch on Wednesday before trying to get back on the mound.

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.