The Astros are being “very conservative” with ace Dallas Keuchel as the left-hander progresses through rehab for a neck injury, manager A.J. Hinch said in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM today (Twitter link). According to Hinch, Keuchel is currently in the midst of a seven-day total shutdown from throwing and won’t throw until this weekend at the earliest. “It doesn’t concern me yet, because that’s the plan we have in place,” said Hinch of the shutdown for Keuchel. Houston, of course, has a massive 12-game lead in the AL West, so the Astros can afford to be cautious with Keuchel’s rehab from recurring neck discomfort.
More notable injury updates from around the league…
- Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks experienced discomfort when testing out his injured right hand today and has had his target return date pushed back, reports Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago. Manager Joe Maddon wouldn’t offer much in the way of specifics, instead more vaguely stating, “There’s no definitive timeline, no finish line. It’s just that he’s not ready.” Hendricks was placed on the disabled list last week in what the Cubs hoped would be a short-term move due to tendinitis in his right hand, but it seems that he’ll have a lengthier absence than anticipated. Maddon said he “would not be surprised” if Hendricks’ injury was re-tested in the near future.
- Cole Hamels is on the verge of embarking on a minor league rehab assignment, as Richard Dean writes for MLB.com. The Rangers southpaw tossed two sets of 15 pitches in a bullpen session today and “came out good,” per Texas skipper Jeff Banister. Hamels threw fastballs and breaking balls in today’s session and, depending how he feels in the coming days, may not require further bullpens before his rehab stint begins. He’s been sidelined since early May due to an oblique issue and was originally slated to miss roughly eight weeks.
- Athletics right-hander Andrew Triggs underwent an MRI on his ailing right hip, which revealed some structural damage, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. However, A’s manager Bob Melvin stressed that it’s not yet clear if the damage in Triggs’ hip is old or is a newer ailment that will require more attention. Triggs was hoping to miss a maximum of two starts, but there’s now no timetable for his return, according to Melvin, who adds that Triggs is also experiencing some back pain. The 28-year-old Triggs was sensational through his first eight starts, recording a 2.12 ERA with 6.8 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 54 percent ground-ball rate. However, Triggs was shelled for 26 runs (20 earned) on 32 hits and seven walks with 15 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings over his final four starts prior to landing on the DL. Of the 32 hits he yielded in that time, seven were home runs.
- In what has unfortunately become a familiar refrain for Red Sox fans, right-hander Tyler Thornburg has suffered yet another setback in his recovery from a still-undetermined shoulder injury, writes Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. Thornburg had been long-tossing from 120 feet, but he’s now been shut down from that activity. Surgery has still not been recommended for Thornburg, manager John Farrell tells Britton. Fellow righty Carson Smith is targeting a rehab assignment this weekend, per Farrell, though a scheduled simulated game was pushed back from Tuesday to Wednesday. And, as Britton points out, the new CBA extends the rehab window for players coming back from Tommy John surgery from 30 days to 60 days, so Smith could have a lengthier rehab than most.