Astros righty Collin McHugh will make his 2017 big-league debut in a start against the Orioles, the Astros have announced. McHugh had missed the entire season to this point with shoulder trouble. Before 2017, McHugh had an impressive three-year run in Houston in which he posted a 3.71 ERA, 8.4 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 over 543 innings. His return improves an Astros rotation that also currently features Lance McCullers, Charlie Morton, Mike Fiers and Brad Peacock. Dallas Keuchel is now on a rehab assignment after heading to the DL with neck discomfort in early June. Here’s more out of Texas.
- The impending returns of McHugh and Keuchel don’t mean the Astros are out of the market for rotation help, however. Jon Morosi of MLB Network tweets that the team watched Rangers star Yu Darvish pitch yesterday. The team is keeping tabs on all significant potential rotation additions, Morosi adds. Darvish has lately been connected to a variety of teams, including the Dodgers and Cubs.
- Speaking of Darvish, the Rangers have recently been scouting the Dodgers’ and Cubs’ Triple-A teams, Evan Grant of SportsDay writes. Of course, teams frequently scout one another’s affiliates for any number of reasons, but right now, the Rangers’ interest in the Dodgers’ and Cubs’ minor-leaguers could set the groundwork for a trade. Grant adds, though, that the Cubs might be more interested in catcher Jonathan Lucroy than in Darvish. (The 31-year-old Lucroy is in the midst of a down season in Texas, with a .248/.297/.351 line so far; he’s eligible for free agency after the season. He would complement Willson Contreras behind the plate if the Rangers were to trade him to Chicago.) Grant also notes that rival clubs didn’t scout Darvish’s own start particularly heavily last night, perhaps because the 46-50 Rangers are still on the fringes of contention. It’s still not yet entirely clear what their approach to the deadline will be.