Musgrove on way to Houston, could start Monday

Musgrove on way to Houston, could start Monday

DETROIT -- Astros No. 7 prospect Joe Musgrove flew to Houston on Sunday afternoon in anticipation of possibly starting for the Astros on Monday against the Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park in what would be his Major League debut.

Right-hander Doug Fister was originally scheduled to make that start, but his wife is due to give birth to the couple's first child any day. Astros manager A.J. Hinch didn't provide an update on the situation following the Astros' 11-0 loss to the Tigers on Sunday.

Hinch said pregame, though, he would like to make a decision on Monday's starter by Sunday night. Musgrove was scratched from his start at Triple-A Fresno on Saturday and appears to the choice to pitch Monday if Fister is placed on paternity leave.

"We're still in a holding pattern," Hinch said. "This may be a photo finish for the game tomorrow. Until my phone lights up with a text or a call from [Fister], it's sort of status quo."

Hinch said that if Fister's child still hasn't been delivered Monday, there's some concern about him making the start and then having to leave the game if his wife goes into labor.

"That's a tall task against a really good offense," he said. "We're not 100 percent sure what we're going to do either way, but we have a lot of options."

Musgrove, who was drafted by the Blue Jays with the No. 46 overall pick in 2011 and was traded to Houston a year later, is 5-3 with a 3.81 ERA in 10 starts at Fresno after posting a 0.34 ERA in 26 1/3 innings at Double-A Corpus Christi in which he struck out 30 batters and walked only three.

Worth noting
• Infielder Marwin Gonzalez is scheduled to see a hand specialist on Monday in Houston. Gonzalez was unavailable Saturday and Sunday after leaving Friday's game with right hand soreness. The Astros were without outfielder Carlos Gomez (right hamstring strain) for the third straight game Sunday, leaving Hinch with one healthy position player on his bench once again.

"We're going to operate with as thin a bench as you could possibly have," said Hinch, who was forced to put Bregman in left field for the first time in his brief career late in Saturday's game and use catcher Jason Castro at first base three times in the last week.

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.