HOUSTON -- The Astros have lost two players in the past two games to strained right hamstrings, and now their roster is becoming strained.
One day after infielder Luis Valbuena strained his hamstring running to first base, center fielder Carlos Gomez suffered the same injury sliding into second base in the second inning of Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Yankees at Minute Maid Park. Both players are listed as day to day.
Considering they carry only 12 position players -- and 13 pitchers -- the Astros could be forced to make a roster move prior to Friday's series opener in Detroit, or run the risk of having only one healthy position player on the bench. Houston manager A.J. Hinch conceded Valbuena was unlikely to play Friday.
"It's not comfortable when the bench is pretty much empty with the exception of [Evan Gattis] as a pinch-hitter/catcher," Hinch said. "We've got some fortunate timing, if I can call it that, because we're expected to put [starting pitcher Doug Fister] on the paternity leave soon. His wife is going to deliver his first child in the next couple of days, so we might have a transaction in Detroit that will probably be a position player."
Fister isn't scheduled to pitch in Detroit, so the Astros could bring a player up from Triple-A Fresno for the entire Tigers series to cover themselves if Valbuena and/or Gomez need a couple extra days but aren't hurt enough to go on the disabled list.
Gomez said he doesn't think his injury will be too serious.
"It's a mild strain," he said. "We have the advantage of the off-day [Thursday] and we have a night game [Friday]. Like I said before, I had it in the past. I know how I feel. I don't think this is going to be something that will take me long to heal. In the past, I have had it worse than that and I was ready in six or seven days, and they put me on the DL. In this case, I don't think it's necessary."
Valbuena was examined Wednesday by team medical director Dr. David Lintner and will continue to get treatment on his hamstring over the next couple of days. Valbuena's strain is higher in the hamstring, while Gomez's is just above the back of the knee.
"We're going to need a couple of more days to assess," Hinch said of Valbuena. "It's a unique part of the hamstring. We're going to get some diagnostic testing, going to have him have treatment. He had it all day today, he'll have it before the plane. He's unlikely to play Friday, and we'll assess him on Saturday. Where it's located, sort of behind the knee really low, makes for some tricky diagnosis."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.