Inbox: What is Astros' plan for Deadline?

Beat reporter Brian McTaggart answers questions from fans

Inbox: What is Astros' plan for Deadline?

HOUSTON -- The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline is just 11 days away.

With the Astros still possessing a big lead in the American League West, let's open the Inbox and see what's on fans' minds from questions submitted through Twitter.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros can't solve Paxton, drop finale to M's

Astros can't solve Paxton, drop finale to M's

HOUSTON -- James Paxton continued his mastery of the Astros, allowing six hits and one run with seven strikeouts in seven innings, as the Mariners took a series at Minute Maid Park with a 4-1 victory Wednesday afternoon.

Ben Gamel's two-run homer in the fourth inning put the Mariners ahead, 2-1, and was all the offense needed for Paxton (9-3), who improved to 2-0 in three starts this year against Houston, allowing one run in 20 innings.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Keuchel eyes return after Saturday rehab start

Keuchel eyes return after Saturday rehab start

HOUSTON -- Astros left-handed ace Dallas Keuchel will officially need another rehab start.

Keuchel will make his second rehab start on Saturday after throwing three scoreless innings in his first rehab start on Monday for Double-A Corpus Christi, manager A.J. Hinch said after Wednesday's 4-1 loss to the Mariners.

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Correa has successful surgery on left thumb

Astros expected to be without All-Star shortstop for six to eight weeks

Correa has successful surgery on left thumb

HOUSTON -- Astros All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa underwent surgery Wednesday morning to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. Correa posted a picture on his Instagram page Wednesday, writing: "Successful Surgery, now ready for what's next."

Correa is expected to be out six to eight weeks after injuring his thumb swinging the bat in the fourth inning of Monday's game against the Mariners. He originally hurt his thumb sliding into home plate July 4 in Atlanta and was playing through pain before tearing the ligament Monday.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Morosi: Astros, A's talks heat up over Gray

Morosi: Astros, A's talks heat up over Gray

The Astros and White Sox have spoken about trade possibilities since last offseason, if not before. But when the White Sox made two major deals this month, they sent pitchers to other teams: Jose Quintana to the Cubs; David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees.

So, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow is looking elsewhere to upgrade his rotation and bullpen -- and the available options are becoming clearer.

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Jon Paul Morosi is a reporter for MLB.com and MLB Network. He has also covered baseball for FOX Sports, the Detroit Free Press, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

2 days after glove funeral, Beltran makes grab

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2 days after glove funeral, Beltran makes grab

What is dead can never die. Carlos Beltran proved that as, just two days after his glove was given a funeral, Beltran was back in the outfield for the first time since May 16. 

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Harris set to begin throwing program

Harris set to begin throwing program

HOUSTON -- Astros reliever Will Harris will not return from the 10-day disabled list when he is eligible, but his rehab throwing program will begin soon, the 2016 All-Star right-hander said on Wednesday.

Harris, who is on the DL retroactive to July 11, is set to play catch for the first time since being sidelined for a bone bruise in his throwing shoulder. The right-hander is expected to begin playing catch as soon as Friday -- the first day Harris is eligible to be activated -- when the Astros begin a three-game series in Baltimore.

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fiers looks to keep rolling vs. Ubaldo, O's

Fiers looks to keep rolling vs. Ubaldo, O's

The last time he faced the Astros on May 28, Baltimore righty Ubaldo Jimenez threw 92 pitches in six solid innings of relief.

This time, as the starter for Friday's opener of a three-game series vs. Houston at Camden Yards, Jimenez will get another crack at the American League West-leading Astros while dueling against Astros starter Mike Fiers, who has been on a roll.

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cameron, Dawson power Quad Cities

Cameron, Dawson power Quad Cities

Astros prospects Daz Cameron and Ronnie Dawson put up monster numbers to help lead Class A Quad Cities to a 20-3 win over Lansing on Wednesday night.

The duo combined to go 6-for-9 with two triples, three home runs, four runs scored and eight RBIs on a night where everything went right for the River Bandits' offense.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros bounce back behind Peacock, Gattis

Astros bounce back behind Peacock, Gattis

HOUSTON -- Brad Peacock extended his career-high winning streak to five games by throwing a career-high-tying seven innings, and catcher Evan Gattis slugged a pair of solo homers to lead the Astros to a 6-2 win over the Mariners on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.

Peacock (8-1), who was moved to the rotation from the bullpen in late May when Dallas Keuchel went on the disabled list for the first time, allowed three hits -- two infield hits -- and one run and struck out nine batters in his longest outing since Sept. 5, 2013 at Oakland.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With Correa down, Gattis steps up for Astros

With Correa down, Gattis steps up for Astros

HOUSTON -- In the first game after the Astros revealed they will be without their RBI leader Carlos Correa until September, Houston's search for offense to replace Correa wasn't tough to find.

In the second inning of Tuesday's game against the Mariners, catcher Evan Gattis gashed a solo homer. Four innings later, he did it again in a 6-2 win over the Mariners.

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McHugh due to rejoin Astros on Saturday

Righty will make 2017 debut vs. O's after recovering from elbow impingement

McHugh due to rejoin Astros on Saturday

HOUSTON -- Collin McHugh is back.

McHugh, Houston's right-handed starting pitcher who has missed all 93 games this season with a posterior impingement in his throwing elbow, is scheduled to return to the Astros' rotation to make his first start this season on Saturday in Baltimore, manager A.J. Hinch said.

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Correa out 6-8 weeks with torn thumb ligament

Astros' All-Star shortstop exited in middle of at-bat

Correa out 6-8 weeks with torn thumb ligament

HOUSTON -- The first-place Astros will be without All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa for six to eight weeks after he was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his left thumb on Tuesday, an injury that will require surgery at a later date.

Correa left Monday's 9-7 loss to the Mariners in the fourth inning after injuring the thumb on a swing, the same thumb he originally hurt sliding head-first into home July 4 in Atlanta. Correa said the thumb continued to bother him into the following series in Toronto and through the All-Star Game, where he started for the American League.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reddick named Heart and Hustle Award winner

Reddick named Heart and Hustle Award winner

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association revealed the 30 preliminary winners of the 2017 Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday. The honor is the only one voted on by former players, and is bestowed each year upon the active player who most represents a passion for the game of baseball, and best embodies the values, spirit and tradition of the game.

Past winners of the Heart and Hustle Award include David Eckstein (2005), Hall of Famer Craig Biggio (2006, 2007), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols (2009), Roy Halladay (2010), Torii Hunter (2011), Mike Trout (2012), Dustin Pedroia (2013), Josh Harrison (2014), Anthony Rizzo (2015) and Todd Frazier (2016).

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fisher collects four hits for Fresno

Fisher collects four hits for Fresno

Tyler O'Neill has plenty of power and he showed it off with home runs in each game of Triple-A Tacoma's doubleheader split against Albuquerque.

O'Neill, the No. 29 overall prospect (Mariners No. 2) is heating up lately, having homered in three straight games and boasting a .327 average through 14 games this month.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros drop seesaw contest to M's in extras

Astros drop seesaw contest to M's in extras

HOUSTON -- After five ties and six lead changes, Seattle's Kyle Seager and Danny Valencia secured the Mariners' 9-7 win at Minute Maid Park on Monday with a pair of solo homers in the 10th inning.

The Mariners' sixth set of back-to-back homers this season gave the Astros their first extra-innings loss in five such contests this season. It's the first time Seattle hit back-to-back HRs in extras since Sept. 8, 2002, at Kansas City (Ben Davis and Mike Cameron).

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros said goodbye to Beltran's glove

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Astros said goodbye to Beltran's glove

All good things must come to an end. That's no different for nine-time All-Star Carlos Beltran's glove.

You see, Beltran hasn't played the outfield since May, and it would be a difficult task to locate a photo of him playing the outfield in an Astros uniform this year. So his teammates decided to hold a funeral for his glove since Beltran has been spending time at the designated hitter position.

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Houston has trouble cashing in vs. Seattle

Astros load bases four times but come away with just two runs

Houston has trouble cashing in vs. Seattle

HOUSTON --- Sometimes you just have to tip your cap. Astros second baseman Jose Altuve did exactly that after striking out against Mariners reliever Tony Zych to strand the bases loaded in the sixth inning of Monday's 9-7 loss in 10 innings.

That at-bat summed up the frustration of the night for the Astros, who went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10. They went 0-for-2 in four bases-loaded chances, with two strikeouts, and George Springer's walk and sacrifice fly.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fiers fans 11, Astros take series from Twins

Fiers fans 11, Astros take series from Twins

HOUSTON -- It didn't much matter that the top seven batters in the Astros' order produced no RBIs and Carlos Correa was absent, given a day of rest. Houston had Norichika Aoki and Jake Marisnick backing up a superb seven innings from starter Mike Fiers in Sunday's series-clinching 5-3 win over the Twins.

The Astros' 8-9 hitters, Aoki and Marisnick, provided the offense the team needed for its 62nd win, combining for three RBIs, pacing Houston to its 21st series win and second series win against Minnesota in 2017.

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Twins on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bottom of the order puts Astros on top

Bottom of the order puts Astros on top

HOUSTON -- Going into the series finale vs. the Twins, Norichika Aoki and Jake Marisnick had combined to go 6-for-32 in July, providing little offense when the opportunity arose.

That, though, was before Sunday.

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Rogers makes Pipeline Team of the Week

Rogers makes Pipeline Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

Brendan Rodgers' hitting ability made him MLBPipeline.com's No. 1-rated prospect and the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 Draft. The Rockies shortstop has lived up to expectations and is having his best season yet.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Musgrove working through a learning curve

Musgrove working through a learning curve

HOUSTON -- Joe Musgrove, quite possibly, is throwing too many strikes, believe it or not.

Musgrove used six different pitches en route to losing his eighth decision in Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Twins. He was a marksman again in the strike zone, throwing 53 of his 84 pitches for strikes. The problem is that his opponents know his nearly too-precise tendencies, too. So far this month, 130 of his 177 pitches (73 percent) in July went for strikes.

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altuve's blast not enough for Astros

Altuve's blast not enough for Astros

HOUSTON -- After a soft comebacker ricocheted off the glove of Astros reliever Tony Sipp, Eddie Rosario stretched what would have been a routine double play into a double and secured the Twins' 4-2 win on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.

Much earlier in the evening, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier clubbed his second leadoff home run in as many days, helping the Twins end their three-game losing streak while at the same time earning their first win against the 61-win Astros this season. Prior to Saturday, Minnesota had lost seven in a row to the Astros, dating back to Aug. 9, 2016.

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Twins on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Opportunity knocks, but Astros don't answer

Houston leaves bases loaded three times in loss to Minnesota

Opportunity knocks, but Astros don't answer

HOUSTON -- On Saturday, in their 30th loss of the season, the Astros had chances to score -- most of them with the bases loaded -- and yet had no runs to show for it.

The Astros left the bases loaded in the second, fourth and seventh innings of a 4-2 loss to the Twins after scoring 10 or more runs in five of their seven previous games.

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MiLB blooper turns into inside-the-park HR

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MiLB blooper turns into inside-the-park HR

When you think of an inside-the-park homer, what sort of play comes to mind? A ball taking a weird carom off the wall, maybe, or a diving attempt that comes up empty.

Chances are what did not come to mind was a chopper down the right-field line. And yet, Quad City River Bandits third baseman Marcos Almonte turned one of those into an inside-the-parker against the South Bend Cubs on Friday night -- thanks to a little determination, a lot of speed ... and the fact that right fielder Chris Pieters slipped and fell.

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Astros recall Guduan to fill in for Harris

Astros recall Guduan to fill in for Harris

HOUSTON -- The Astros placed right-handed reliever Will Harris on the 10-day disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder, retroactive to Tuesday, following Friday's series-opening 10-5 win over the Twins. To fill Harris' spot, the Astros recalled left-hander Reymin Guduan from Triple-A Fresno on Saturday.

Harris, a 2016 All-Star and one of the Astros' most reliable relievers, with a 2.86 ERA in 34 2/3 innings this season, will be eligible to return on Friday, when the Astros begin a three-game series in Baltimore. The DL stint -- which he doesn't expect to be lengthy, following an MRI earlier this week -- is the first of his Major League career.

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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Whitley fans 10 in gem for Buies Creek

Whitley fans 10 in gem for Buies Creek

Rafael Devers put his entire skillset on display while leading Pawtucket to a 7-4 win over Syracuse in his Triple-A debut on Saturday.

Devers, the No. 12 overall prospect (Red Sox's No. 1), was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate and also showed off his defensive ability with an impressive bare-handed play at third base.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Young Springer played catch with Torii

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Young Springer played catch with Torii

Imagine the memories that come from playing catch with a real ballplayer before a game. Every time it happens, it's a wonderful scene, one we've seen in ballparks across the country in recent months. 

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Altuve's quest for history falls just short

Altuve's quest for history falls just short

HOUSTON -- Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve is swinging the bat so well these days that when he is held to "only" two hits, it's a topic of conversation in the postgame news conference.

"He drew a walk, too," chuckled manager A.J. Hinch after his team clobbered the Twins, 10-5, on Friday in the first game after the All-Star break.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.