CHICAGO -- Rookie Jordan Lyles is the fourth active Houston pitcher to make his Major League debut at Wrigley Field, joining Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers and Bud Norris.
Coincidentally, Rodriguez's injured elbow was the impetus for Houston to call up the 20-year-old Lyles, who is now the youngest player in the Majors at 20 years, 224 days. He's also the youngest to make his big league debut for the Astros since Cesar Cedeno did it at 19 years, 115 days.
"I'm sure he's just going to go out there and pitch," Norris said before Tuesday's game. "He's going to be around for a while. He's a young guy and he's got a lot of good stuff. I just hope he cherishes the moment before he steps on that mound and knows he's worked so hard to get here."
Norris did exactly that for the Astros on July 29, 2009, when he threw three innings of relief and allowed just one run in his own Wrigley Field debut.
"Three innings and one run ... I was pretty excited for my debut, and I've never been back to the bullpen since," Norris said. "It was a flash. It just went really quick. I don't really remember much except getting done with it and looking at the linescore. But I had Mom and Dad in the stands and that was really special that they could be here. There's no better place to debut than Wrigley Field."
Scouting staff knee-deep in Draft prep
CHICAGO -- Astros general manager Ed Wade and his front-office staff are busily wrapping up their preparations for next week's First-Year Player Draft, which starts on Monday with the first round and resumes on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Houston will have the No. 11 overall pick and will also pick 69th and 99th. The club's philosophy has always been to take the best athlete available. Last year, the Astros drafted outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. eighth overall and moved him to second base.
This year, Wade said he and the scouting staff are currently trying to plot out which player might go in front of them -- which gives them an idea of who might be available in the No. 11 spot.
"There are several guys we've got our eye on picking at 11, and some of that will be determined by who's there when we pick," Wade said. "Certainly a number of players we think highly of will be gone by that time."
The club is still piecing together its Draft board. Assistant general manager/director of scouting Bobby Heck and national crosschecker David Post were in Houston on Tuesday to continue the process of merging the East, Midwest and West Draft boards.
"Between now and the Draft, there's going to be a lot of activity here in the office in Houston and still a lot of work done by the guys in the field," Wade said.
Houston will also hold a pre-Draft workout at Minute Maid Park on Thursday and host several of the area's top players, as well as prospects from other parts of the country.
"This gives us a chance to get eyes on a few guys for an additional amount of time," Wade said. "Everything at this point is focused on trying to get it right, not only Monday night but Tuesday or Wednesday."
Injured Astros on the mend
CHICAGO -- Houston manager Brad Mills had health updates about several Astros players on Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field, and the news was positive across the board.
Outfielder Jason Bourgeois (strained oblique) cleared another hurdle in his rehab stint at extended spring training on Tuesday by taking live batting practice and reporting no lingering pain from his injury.
Bourgeois was placed on the disabled list on May 8 after hitting .407 with 12 steals in 28 games to start the season. Mills said the plan now is for Bourgeois to play in an extended spring game on Wednesday before heading to Triple-A Oklahoma City for a rehab stint this coming weekend with the RedHawks.
"He was really excited about how he [felt]," Mills said.
Mills also said that closer Brandon Lyon, on the DL with right biceps tendinitis and a partially torn rotator cuff, will continue working through his throwing program and is slated to throw a simulated game on Thursday in San Diego.
As for injured starter Wandy Rodriguez, Mills said the Astros are taking it slow with his rehab work for swelling in his elbow. Rodriguez threw a light bullpen session on Tuesday, but is currently limited to throwing just fastballs and changeups.
"He says it feels better," Mills said. "We're still kind of bringing him along kind of slow. I think he's going to stay away from throwing the breaking ball, which really caused him some discomfort earlier. He'll throw fastball and changeup in the 'pen today, just to keep his arm moving."
Finally, Mills said catcher Humberto Quintero (high ankle sprain) is currently rehabbing back in Houston and could rejoin the Astros to continue the rehab work on the next leg of their trip in San Diego.
Cancel's decision to seek a job paid off
CHICAGO -- Veteran 35-year-old catcher Robinson Cancel was put into the starting lineup behind the plate for the first time on Tuesday, slated to catch rookie Jordan Lyles' Major League debut.
Just a few months earlier, Cancel was looking for a job with several organizations as Spring Training was getting started. Cancel, who lives near Houston's spring facility in Kissimmee, Fla., said he reached out to the Astros to see if they needed help.
"I live around Orlando, like 30 minutes away from them," Cancel said. "That's why I went over there. I also went to the Braves system and some other places. I got lucky [the Astros] had some spots open for catching, so I took advantage of it."
Before being called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City this past weekend to replace injured catcher Humberto Quintero, Cancel had a 17-game hitting streak and hit .324 in 30 games -- including a blistering .457 (16-for-35) in his last 10 games. He also caught six of Lyles' 10 starts for the RedHawks and three of the previous four.
Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a first-inning single against Carlos Zambrano on Tuesday night.
The first hit allowed in rookie Jordan Lyles' Major League career came off the bat of Starlin Castro, the second-youngest active player in the big leagues. By making his debut, Lyles is now the youngest. He is also the youngest starting pitcher to make his Major League debut at Wrigley Field since Zambrano did it for the Cubs on Aug. 20, 2001. Zambrano started for the Cubs opposite Lyles on Tuesday night.
Astros manager Brad Mills said his coaching staff timed Cubs rookie Tony Campana down the first-base line on a grounder up the middle in Monday's 12-7 Astros win in a blazing 3.8 seconds. Campana also stole four bases in that game.
"We knew he was fast," Mills said. "But still, that's moving."
Entering Tuesday's game, Astros starters held a sterling 2.80 ERA (17 ER in 54 2/3 innings) in the last nine games played at Wrigley Field.
Brian Hedger is a contributor to MLB.com. Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.