KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros catcher Humberto Quintero traveled to Houston on Tuesday to have his ailing back examined by team medical director Dr. David Lintner.
Quintero, who hasn't seen Grapefruit League action this spring because of his back, said he will get a cortisone shot on Wednesday and return to Houston later that day. If all goes well, Quintero hopes to be back on the practice field Thursday with hopes of playing Friday against the Blue Jays.
"I'm feeling better," Quintero said.
Quintero said trainers told him he could have some inflammation in one of the disks in his back, which could be pinching a nerve and causing discomfort down his right leg.
Meanwhile, third baseman Jimmy Paredes, who has yet to appear in a spring game because of left-wrist inflammation, will face live pitching Tuesday afternoon on one of the Minor League fields. Infielder Angel Sanchez (back), whom manager Brad Mills said isn't as far along in his recovery as Paredes, will take two sets of batting practice with the coaching staff and track pitches with Minor Leaguers. Mills said they're both going to Viera, Fla., for Thursday's game against the Nationals.
Lee's Spring Training debut goes well
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- After missing the first three games of the Grapefruit League season with a mild strain of his right hamstring, Astros first baseman Carlos Lee made his spring debut Tuesday against the Mets and was 1-for-3 with a terrific sliding catch near the dugout.
"I felt like I was in a good position to hit," Lee said. "The timing was a little off, being the first time out there in a real game. But I like the way I had a good approach today and stayed back and used my hands. It's all about timing now."
Lee didn't push it too hard running on the bases, but there's no reason to test his leg this early in the spring and so soon after his injury.
"It's something you have to build up," he said. "It felt good out there today."
Despite the poor starts he's gotten off to the last two seasons -- he hit .183 in April of 2010 and .194 last April -- Lee isn't approaching this spring any differently than the previous two. He hasn't found that Spring Training necessarily carries over into the regular season.
"Last year, I thought I was going to be great because I came out of Spring Training so good, and then I got to April and that didn't happen," Lee said.
Chris Snyder continues torrid start
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros catcher Chris Snyder couldn't have asked for a much better start to his spring.
Snyder, signed by the club in January, belted his second home run in as many games when he went deep in the fourth inning of Tuesday's win over the Mets. Snyder had homered off Washington's Stephen Strasburg on Sunday and is 2-for-5 with four runs scored in two starts this spring.
"Hey, I'm out there to prove a lot of things to myself, to the team and to a lot of people," said Snyder, who had an injury-shortened 2011 with the Pirates. "I'm going to do my best to lock it in and stay locked in."
Perhaps the most important detail Snyder took away from Tuesday's game was he was able to catch six innings without any issues. Snyder, 30, hit .271 with three homers and 17 RBIs in only 34 games for the Pirates last year before undergoing season-ending surgery in June to repair a herniated disk.
"I finished today strong and I'm going to show up tomorrow and go to work," he said. "I don't care if it's Spring Training or the regular season or intra-squad, I want to lock it in right now and stay locked in as much as I can. To get results is a good sign, but I'm still trying to put together good at-bats, see some pitches and make good contact."
Duke happy in 'pen, but wants to start
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Left-hander Zach Duke got his first real introduction to relief pitching last year, when he made 12 appearances out of the bullpen for the Diamondbacks. Prior to that, he had been used exclusively as a starter in his Major League career, which makes this spring a little unusual.
Duke hasn't yet been pegged for the Astros' rotation or the bullpen, and on Monday worked three innings in relief to get his arm stretched out. He's expected to start a game for the Astros within the next week and continue to get stretched out because it would easy for him to make the move into relief, even after getting some starts.
"It's the first spring I've had not knowing what my role is going to be," Duke said. "I'm thankful for the workload and I'll get prepared for what comes in the season. I feel good [Tuesday] after working three innings Monday, so I'm ready for it."
Duke said the adjustment to the bullpen was relatively easy for him last year after starting his entire career. He's among six pitchers competing for two spots in the rotation, along with youngsters Jordan Lyles, Lucas Harrell, Henry Sosa, Kyle Weiland and veteran Livan Hernandez.
"The main thing pitching out of the bullpen is to be ready every day," Duke said. "It's a little bit different preparation, but if I could start, that's what I prefer."