Keuchel, McCann eye Saturday for return

Keuchel, McCann eye Saturday for return

HOUSTON -- Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel and catcher Brian McCann are both on track to come off the disabled list Saturday, though manager A.J. Hinch said Tuesday they have more hurdles to clear before they can be activated.

Keuchel, who was scheduled to start Monday's series opener against the Tigers, went on the 10-day disabled list Saturday (retroactive to Wednesday) with a pinched nerve in his neck. McCann was placed on the seven-day concussion DL on Sunday, a week after he was struck in the face mask by a foul tip in New York.

"Both are progressing nicely," Hinch said. "Dallas is going to play catch [Tuesday], and McCann is going to play catch here in the next couple of days, today or tomorrow. Once that hurdle is made, we'll be able to assess exactly what their availability is going to be, likely later in the week. Both are eligible to come off Saturday, but they have a few tests to answer before we can really make plans."

Keuchel said he's feeling better and is still targeting Saturday against the Orioles. He said he might not throw in the bullpen between starts like he would normally, though.

"As long as I feel good playing catch, I'm to the point now that I know my body well enough to tell somebody if I'm good to go or not," Keuchel said. "The last two days I was just trying to let the body get better and try to take it easy. … I'm not going full bore with what I'm usually doing, but it'll probably be a week or two before I'm back to 100 percent intensity of work in between my starts."

McCann has been working out the past couple of days and said he'll probably start hitting Wednesday.

"I'm really happy with the way I feel right now," he said.

Correa sits with illness
Shortstop Carlos Correa was out of the lineup Tuesday against the Tigers because he was sick, Hinch said. Marwin Gonzalez started at shortstop in Correa's place.

"He might have been a little sick yesterday, I'm not sure," Hinch said. "I'm not going to have him play when he's not feeling right. … We'll put him in there as soon as he's available. Maybe today if we need him, but I'm not sure."

Peacock makes impression
Hinch said Brad Peacock, who threw 4 1/3 innings and 70 pitches in a spot start in place of Keuchel on Monday, could make another start. Because Peacock won't be available to pitch for at least a couple of days, Hinch said no decision has been made.

"I think we'll assess all of our options," Hinch said. "Because of the volume that he pitched last, we don't have to address it for a couple of days. I need to see what Dallas' schedule is going to look like. That will impact it. Obviously, the back end of our rotation has been good some days, not so good some days. But he certainly is making the case to be given another start, but given that he's going to be down for a couple of days, I don't need to focus on him quite yet."

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.