Harrell's start pushed back due to tweaked groin

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Right-hander Lucas Harrell will have his next start pushed back a few days after straining his right groin in Tuesday's game against the Nationals when he darted from the mound to cover first base. Right-hander Brad Peacock will start in his place Sunday against the Phillies.

"I tweaked it a little bit," Harrell said. "We're just being cautious. I don't think it's anything serious. Over the last couple of days, it's already gotten better. In four or five days, I'll be able to make a start."

Harrell, who was the Astros' Pitcher of the Year in 2012, has been playing catch on flat ground and doesn't expect the injury to be a lingering issue.

"It's something they want to make sure I'm fully OK going into the season," he said.

Harrell, 27, went 11-11 with a 3.76 ERA in 32 starts for the Astros last year and is a candidate to make his first Opening Day start this year. He ranked second in the Major Leagues in innings pitched by a rookie at 193 2/3.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.