Houston Astros outfielder Alex Presley will begin a rehab assignment with Low-A Tri-City on Tuesday, reports Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. McTaggart adds that the club is hoping injured relief pitchers Matt Albers and Jesse Crain will be able to return before the end of the season:
Presley strained his right oblique on July 7 while swinging at a pitch. If everything goes well, Presley will be activated on Houston’s upcoming seven-game road trip, which begins Thursday in Boston.
The 29-year-old has split 70 games between all three outfield positions, batting .252/.291/.359. Houston is short on outfielders at the moment, as Dexter Fowler and George Springer have also been on the disabled list for an extended period, but the former is also expected to join the team on the upcoming road trip.
Albers was placed on the disabled list on April 22 with tendinitis in his right shoulder. He will throw off a mound on Tuesday, which could be a big step towards a possible return before the end of the season.
Before the injury, Albers appeared in eight games, allowing one run. Albers is coming off of two consecutive solid seasons spent with three different teams.
Crain has missed the entire season after undergoing right biceps surgery last October. His arm has improved, but Crain still needs to build up strength in his shoulder and is still throwing from flat ground.
General manager Jeff Luhnow said “we'd have to see some progress here in the next couple of weeks” for Albers and Crain to make appearances before the end of the season.
Houston’s bullpen has struggled again in 2014, posting a league-worst 4.97 ERA.
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