Gregerson tests oblique in Minors game

Astros reliever said his 'side feels great' after short outing

Gregerson tests oblique in Minors game

KISSIMMEE, Fla.-- Astros reliever Luke Gregerson, who suffered an oblique strain on the first day of Spring Training, pitched a pain-free inning Wednesday morning in a Minor League game.

Gregerson threw 18 pitches, including his slider, and reported no problems, clearing him to resume a regular spring schedule aimed at having him ready on Opening Day.

"Pretty good," Gregerson said. "A few pitches got away from me, but there's still plenty of time to tighten those things up. Just a matter of honing it in and getting under control."

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As steps go, it was a small one, but not an insignificant one.

"It's nice to get a little bit of adrenalin going," he said. "I know it's a Minor League game on a backfield. It's not a game with 50,000 people in the stands, but you still get that pumping adrenalin when you're out there facing live hitters. Physically, [I] felt 100 percent. Side feels great. Shoulder feels 100 percent. Keep going."

Gregerson saved 31 games in 2015, his first with the Astros. With the acquisition of Ken Giles from the Phillies, Astros manager A.J. Hinch has yet to announce how he'll assign late-inning roles for the two.

Richard Justice is a columnist for Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.