OAKLAND -- Right-hander Mark Appel, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's First-Year Player Draft and the team's No. 4 prospect and No. 28 overall prospect, will likely make two more starts at Class A Quad Cities and then be shut down for the rest of the season, including the playoffs, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said on Tuesday.
Appel, who was roughed up in his last outing, has thrown 134 1/3 innings this year when you combine his senior season at Stanford with his Minor League workload. He's scheduled to throw again on Monday for Quad Cities at home. The Astros had previously left open the idea of promoting Appel to Double-A Corpus Christi.
"He didn't say this, but he's probably getting fatigued with the workload this year and all the intensity of being the first pick of the Draft and the expectations," Luhnow said.
Appel is 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA in eight starts at Quad Cities after starting two games at short-season Tri-City shortly after being drafted. Luhnow plans to be in Davenport, Iowa, on Monday when Appel makes his next start as part of his August tour of the team's Minor League affiliates.
Luhnow will watch two games at Class A Lancaster and also make stops at Triple-A Oklahoma City, Tri-City and Rookie League Greeneville. He plans to visit Double-A Corpus Christi at some point during the playoffs.
"It's the time of year where the staff has been with the players for most of the year and they have a really good feel for where those players should play next year," Luhnow said. "I can talk to them about whether they'll play winter ball or which ones may or may not go to the Arizona Fall League. There's a lot of fall planning that goes on around this time. We have as much information as we're going to have about these players."
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.