Lefty expected to be available in 'pen later this week
By Christian Boutwell
HOUSTON -- Although Francisco Liriano had been with the Astros for less than a day at Minute Maid Park, manager A.J. Hinch delighted in meeting the newly acquired reliever for the first time on Tuesday.
Liriano, a 33-year-old lefty Houston got from Toronto before Monday's Trade Deadline, won't be available to begin his transition to the Astros' bullpen until later this week because he made a six-inning start on Saturday for the Blue Jays.
Liriano is expected to acclimate himself easily with the American League-leading Astros, Hinch said.
"He's a nice guy, a veteran guy," Hinch said. "He's been around. He won't be spooked by a playoff race, and he's willing to do anything. I had a long conversation with John Gibbons, his manager in Toronto, and it sounds like he's got a ton of characteristics that will fit perfectly with us."
How did Liriano, who faced the Astros on July 6, react to the trade, knowing he'd be moving from Canada to Texas?
"I was just waiting, and when it finally happened I was kind of surprised, but I'm very excited to be a part of this team," he said. "I'm happy to be here. … They've got a great team. They can hit. They're a young team, too. They can run. They do everything right. To be a part of this team, it's an honor to me."
Correa, Springer begin rehab programs
Houston's All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa is roughly a month away from returning to the Astros.
Correa performed a slew of agility drills on Tuesday, testing his injured left thumb for the first time since July 19 surgery repaired a torn ligament. Correa's near-inch-long scar is mostly healed after he spent most of his time since his surgery watching movies and not moving whatsoever, he joked Tuesday.
"I feel like I should be back sooner than expected, so hopefully I can accomplish that," Correa said. "Just got to let the ligament healed, but I haven't grabbed a bat yet, so I'm sure it's going to hurt if I swing."
Added Hinch, "The only thing that's going to really help the ligament is time. We've got a little time on our hands, and he's at least a month away."
George Springer, who landed on the 10-day DL with a left quad injury on July 25, is eligible to return on Friday, but Hinch suggested that is unlikely.
"He's still trying to get better," Hinch said. "I think today was the first day he was going to run inside and start to increase his activity. Then he'll get tested in the next day or two and incorporate baseball activities.
"Friday's his first eligibility day, but I'm not sold that's going to be the day he's activated, so we'll see how he comes out of the next couple of days."
Feliz, Sipp to DL
The Astros placed right-handed reliever Michael Feliz and lefty reliever Tony Sipp on the 10-day DL for right shoulder discomfort and right calf soreness, respectively, the club announced on Tuesday.
Taking their spots on the 25-man roster were Liriano, who will wear No. 35, and right-hander Jordan Jankowski, who was recalled from Triple-A Fresno. This is Jankowski's fourth stint in the Majors this season.
Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.