7/27/2014 12:28 A.M. ET
Former No. 1 overall pick Appel moving on up
By Mike Vernon / MLB.com
HOUSTON -- While the timetable remains unclear, Astros prospect Mark Appel will move to Double-A Corpus Christi.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft has struggled through his season at Class A Lancaster, but his most recent start was a positive sign for the 23-year-old right-handed pitcher.
On Thursday, Appel allowed two runs on five hits to lower his season ERA to 9.74. The seven-strikeout, no-walk night was what general manager Jeff Luhnow has been waiting for.
"Anytime you're in the Minor Leagues, you're going to be getting advice from a lot of different people," Luhnow said. "We've tried to minimize the number of people that are giving Mark advice."
"Everybody has their own point of view on it. Really, the stuff hasn't changed that much. He's got good stuff. Lancaster is a tough place to pitch. There are nights when you can go out there and have your best stuff and still get hit around. The two factors that I look at more than anything are the strikeouts and walks, and if you look at that, he's consistently been about where he normally is."
McHugh to come off DL, start vs. Fish on Sunday
HOUSTON -- It looks good and feels good for Collin McHugh, so there was no reason to wait any longer.
Astros manager Bo Porter announced Saturday that McHugh will come off the 15-day disabled list to start against the Marlins on Sunday. The fingernail on the middle finger of his right throwing hand pulled away from the skin and caused McHugh to go to the DL.
After a rehab start Tuesday at Triple-A Oklahoma City, the Astros felt McHugh was ready to go, rather than start Brett Oberholtzer, who had been throwing in McHugh's place.
"It feels great," McHugh said. "It looks good, feels good."
Oberholtzer has been the odd man out of the Astros' rotation despite his strong pitching of late -- a 2-1 record and 3.00 ERA in six starts -- as he's bounced back and forth between the Minor and Major Leagues.
"Oberholtzer has done a tremendous job," Porter said. "He's been kind of the odd man out the last few times, and each time in which we've called him back up, he's performed at a level that would make you consider keeping him in the rotation. He hasn't done anything to hurt his chances of staying here."
Porter announced after Saturday's 7-3 loss that Oberholtzer will start Monday against the A's.
Astros send Zeid to DL, Peacock to Triple-A
HOUSTON -- After Saturday's 7-3 loss to the Marlins, manager Bo Porter announced a set of roster moves to set the Astros up for their upcoming series with the A's.
Right-handed pitcher Josh Zeid was placed on the 15-day disabled list with bilateral sesamoiditis that has been bothering his foot recently. Zeid has a 6.97 ERA in 23 appearances season.
"He's been dealing with some foot issues for a while," Porter said. "It was one of those things where he continued to try to push through it and try to push through it, but it started to affect his shoulder. We just got to the point where, after the doctors looked at it, the problems were getting worse."
As Zeid goes to the DL, Collin McHugh will come off it to start for the Astros on Sunday. Brad Peacock has also been optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, with Houston set to announce a corresponding roster move Sunday.
The moves will allow Brett Oberholtzer, who has bounced from Oklahoma City to Houston frequently, to start for the Astros against the A's on Monday.
"Oberholtzer has pitched extremely well, and he earned the opportunity to continue to stay in the rotation," Porter said. "You look at the struggles in which Peacock has had, I think it all starts with his fastball command."
Marwin returns, will be careful with hamstring
HOUSTON -- One day after expressing his concern for playing through a sore hamstring, shortstop Marwin Gonzalez was back in the Astros' lineup Saturday.
Manager Bo Porter rested Gonzalez on Friday against the Marlins to allow him to recover. Gonzalez said he doesn't feel any pain when he walks, but he was admittedly nervous about making the hamstring any worse.
"That's the whole thing -- if I get worse, it's pretty much like I'm done for the season," Gonzalez said. "I'm going to be careful."
The shortstop said if he hits a ground ball or fly ball, then he'll be sure to tend to his leg more carefully. If he hits a ball into the gap or he's on base and someone else gets a base hit, then it's a different story.
"If I have that situation, I will give my 100 percent," Gonzalez said. "Hopefully won't have anything bad happen."
Mike Vernon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.