Gregerson has 'encouraging' bullpen session

Gregerson has 'encouraging' bullpen session

MINNEAPOLIS -- Veteran relief pitcher Luke Gregerson is hoping to return the mound this weekend in Toronto. Gregerson, who's been on the disabled list since July 28 with a left oblique strain, threw in the bullpen Wednesday at Target Field without any issues.

"He threw a very aggressive bullpen," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I don't think he was exactly happy with his accuracy and some of the stuff he was able to work in. From a health standpoint, it was very encouraging. He didn't have any tightness and didn't feel any repercussions from the injury he's been dealing with."

Gregerson, who had some hitters stand in the box against him so he could better gauge his pitches, said he was excited things went so well, though admitted he was probably amped up a bit too much.

"I felt really good," he said. "I was a little erratic on pitches, but that's to be expected after not getting off the mound for a few days. Other than that, everything felt where it needs to be."

Gregerson, who started the season as the Astros' closer, has appeared in 44 games and is 3-1 with a 3.09 ERA and 14 saves. He's eligible to come off the disabled list Friday, but Hinch didn't rule out him throwing another bullpen session.

Gregerson hinted he'd like to return to action when his 15 days are up.

"That's not my decision," he said. "I don't see any reason why we shouldn't keep to the timetable we were pretty much on, which is shooting for this weekend. We'll see what happens."

The Astros could soon place closer Ken Giles on the paternity list because his wife is expecting the couple's first child. If that happens as early as Friday, Gregerson could take his spot. Another roster move could be looming soon for the Astros, too, with Cuban third baseman Yulieski Gurriel likely to finish up his stint at Double-A Corpus Christi on Sunday.

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.