NEW YORK -- Astros general manager Ed Wade and manager Brad Mills have been talking nearly daily recently about possible candidates to be called up Friday when rosters can be expanded. One thing's for sure: the Astros will call up a catcher and at least one pitcher.
"Another catcher would be huge, and being able to get a couple of arms, especially with the games we've been in the last week where they've really exhausted our bullpen, would be great," Mills said.
Considering the Astros are close to getting second baseman Jeff Keppinger and relief pitcher Matt Lindstrom back from the disabled list and are already playing so many youngsters, Wade said the amount of callups would be very limited.
"I've already made up my mind it's going to be less than a handful of moves," he said. "We're getting guys back healthy with Lindstrom and Keppinger and still have a chance to get [Felipe] Paulino back. I'm just not a believer in using September as a reward or just stocking up the bench to have 27 moves to make. We have enough depth here."
Don't rule out the Astros calling up top prospect Jordan Lyles, a pitcher, or former No. 1 Draft pick Brian Bogusevic, who made the switch to the outfield from pitcher two years ago. Lyles gave up four hits and three walks while fanning three over six scoreless innings Thursday night.
Edwin Bellorin and Brian Esposito, neither of whom is a prospect, are splitting the catching duties at Triple-A Round Rock, but neither is on the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 40. The Astros could put injured pitcher Brian Moehler on the 60-day disabled list to free up a roster spot.
Blum's return to Astros pushed back
NEW YORK -- The return of veteran infielder Geoff Blum, which was originally scheduled for Friday at Citi Field, was pushed back a day after Blum woke up Friday morning experiencing headache and nausea, the fallout from getting an injection to help cure a pain in his neck.
Astros general manager Ed Wade said Blum was going to fly to New York on Friday night, and he believed he was going to be available to play on Saturday. Blum went to Houston to be examined by back specialist Dr. Michael McCann, the same doctor who helped Roy Oswalt last year, and he had a follow-up visit with him Friday.
"I guess he had a reaction to the treatment and it was bothering him," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "We said, 'Hey, go see the doctor again and see what he has to say.'"
Mills has been without Blum since Tuesday. Blum injured his neck diving for a ball in Houston last week against the Mets. He was activated from the disabled list Aug. 3 after undergoing elbow surgery, and he is hitting .333 in his first five starts since returning.
Corpus Christi next for Keppinger, Lindstrom
NEW YORK -- Second baseman Jeff Keppinger and relief pitcher Matt Lindstrom are both scheduled to join Double-A Corpus Christi in the coming days, when the team plays in San Antonio, on what should be brief Minor League rehab assignments for both.
Both have been on the disabled list since Aug. 16 and should return to action on Wednesday, the first day rosters can be expanded to as many as 40 players.
Keppinger, who went on the DL with inflammation to the big toe on his left foot, will play for the Hooks on Sunday and Monday before rejoining the Astros on Wednesday. Lindstrom, who had a lower back strain, is scheduled to throw in the bullpen Saturday and pitch for Corpus Christi on Monday in San Antonio.
"They've both made great progress, and we'll get them in competition," general manager Ed Wade said. "If anybody has a setback, you want them to have a setback on a rehab assignment when you don't have to restart the 15-day disabled-list clock. It makes sense for them to get a few days under their belts and get back to us on the first."
Lindstrom said his back feels great and he's been keeping his arm in shape. He was removed from his role as closer shortly before he went on the DL, with Brandon Lyon taking his place. Lindstrom said he's not worried about his role upon his return.
"I don't think it matters at this point," he said. "I just need get back in there and get some innings and throw up some goose eggs. If I do well and dominate, it will come to that. First and foremost is to get out there and throw up some zeros. The biggest key is to make sure I'm where I need to be."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.