7/30/2014 3:22 P.M. ET
Carter out with illness; Presley progressing
By Alyson Footer / MLB.com
HOUSTON -- Astros designated hitter Chris Carter was a late scratch from Wednesday's lineup against the A's after he fell ill in the hours leading up to gametime.
Carter, according to manager Bo Porter, "vomited a couple times" and was given medicine by the team's medical staff.
"You hope it's not something that's contagious and something that starts to go around the clubhouse," Porter said, adding that he did not send Carter home. "Give him medicine, and hopefully he'll feel better as the day goes along. The decision is, do you try to get him to fight through it and get him in the game, and then have it end up getting worse and him having to leave the game? Now, you get the medicine in him and three, four hours from now maybe he'll feel better."
Carter has been one of the Astros' most consistent hitters this month, batting .295 with eight homers and 19 RBIs. His July performance includes an American League-leading .679 slugging percentage, and he is third in OPS (1.043).
In Carter's absence, Robbie Grossman was inserted into the lineup in right, with Marc Krauss playing left. Grossman promptly clubbed a two-run home run to cap a six-run first inning.
In other ailment news, outfielder Alex Presley hit off the tee Wednesday morning and is encouraged by the progress he is making. He said he's working at around 60 to 70 percent effort while swinging and continues to work up to full speed.
Presley is one of several key players who is on the disabled list. The outfielder has been out since July 8 with a right oblique strain.
"I'm happy to be moving forward," he said. "You don't want to go in there and try to go full speed and then not come back if you try to do it too early."
Zeid to have season-ending surgery on both feet
HOUSTON -- Astros reliever Josh Zeid has been fighting through pain in both of his feet for most of the last year and a half, opting to push himself on the pitcher's mound while trying to ignore the discomfort that constantly reminded him that something wasn't quite right.
That has all come to a halt in light of the news that Zeid will undergo surgery on both feet, six weeks apart. The procedure, called a sesamoidectomy, was scheduled to take place on his left foot on Wednesday at The Methodist Hospital Outpatient Center.
The second surgery, on his right foot, will take place in six weeks after the first one. Ideally, the recovery period will be three months, at which time Zeid should be able to resume pitching-related workouts.
"This could be a reccurring problem every year, for the next 10, 15 years if that's how long I can play," Zeid said. "Everyone made the right decision. The doctor thought that was the best choice for us, stopping now and start the process."
Zeid was placed on the disabled list on Friday with bilateral sesamoiditis. Though it's unusual to come down with the same malady in both feet, there is no genetic reason behind why he has this issue. Zeid said the doctors were surprised to discover the same injury in each foot.
"No family reason, no medical reason why it should be in both feet," he said. "Baseball is a violent sport on your feet, [with] metal spikes, and I'm a bigger guy. There's a lot of beating that goes on your feet."
Catcher Jason Castro had the same procedure on his left foot over the winter following the 2011 season.
Zeid will be on crutches for a while, which he predicted will be "super annoying."
"Having to use crutches for more than a month, month and a half combined, with both feet, you're just really limited," he said. "They say I'm going to have to learn how to use my toes again. I know how to use them pretty well now, but everything's going to change."
If there is a silver lining, it's that the timing of the surgery should allow Zeid to be healthy when it's time to report to Spring Training.
"If we waited any longer, and it was something that was done at the end of the year, looking at the amount of time that he would need to recover, it would linger into next year," manager Bo Porter said. "You just look at all the parameters around it -- it was continuing to bother him more and more, we just felt like getting it done now and go through all of the recovery and be ready for Spring Training next year."
Zeid said he apologized to his teammates for trying to pitch through the injury, which likely affected his performance.
"I hated going out there and not giving my team what they deserved," he said. "Just playing through it -- they deserved better than that. I look forward to next year and putting my best foot forward -- both my feet forward -- and just being able to help out."
• Jose Altuve and George Springer will sign free autographs from 11 a.m. to noon CT on Saturday, Aug. 9 at Gulfgate RAM (7250 Gulf Frwy, Houston, 77017).
• The Astros entered play Wednesday with 43 wins. Comparatively speaking, they had 36 wins after the same number of games (107) in 2013. Last year, they won their 43rd game on Aug. 24.
• The Astros will open a four-game set on Thursday with the Blue Jays, who, as of Wednesday morning, were leading the AL with 130 home runs. The Astros were third with 116.
• The Astros will host dollar hot dog night as the series with the Blue Jays gets underway. "Steamin' weenies" are a dollar every Thursday home game in 2014.