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Brocail yet to decide what he'll do in '10

Brocail yet to decide what he'll do in '10

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PHILADELPHIA -- Doug Brocail usually has his mind made up at this time each year if he's going to play another season, but the veteran right-hander remains indecisive entering the final week of the 2009 campaign.

The Astros hold an option for Brocail for 2010.

"It all depends what the MRI says at the end of the season," Brocail said. "I've had a good run of luck lately, but health is the main concern. If I'm healthy, I'd like to play again. If not, I'll see."

Brocail will undergo an MRI on his right shoulder after the season to see if there's any structural damage. He missed 24 games in July and August with a right shoulder strain, 75 games in the middle of the season with a left hamstring strain and 14 games in April with a rotator cuff strain.

"They're going to look at the shoulder and make sure everything is fine and I haven't ripped it up due to [compensating for] the leg and everything," he said. "Hopefully that will help me make up my mind."

Brocail, 42, is completing his 15th season in the Major Leagues and 21st in professional baseball. Entering this week's series against the Phillies, he had been limited to 18 appearances, thanks to three stints on the disabled list -- the 13th, 14th and 15th of his career.

Brocail said he's talked with his family more about retiring than he has before in his career.

"I'm going to get input from the guys [on the team] and the coaching staff and see if they think I still have it," he said. "If I still have it, then I'm going to continue. If the majority says, 'Man, you need to listen to your body,' and then I don't know. I don't have a plan yet."

Brocail hadn't allowed a run in 10 consecutive appearances entering Monday, lowering his ERA to 2.87 from 6.75.

Pitching matchup
HOU: RHP Wilton Lopez (0-0, 8.44 ERA)
Lopez is scheduled to make his first Major League start in place of Bud Norris, who was shut down Friday because of a concern for the number of innings he pitched. Lopez has appeared in five Major League games and has no decisions and a 10.38 ERA. He was 4-5 with a 4.73 ERA in 29 games, including 15 starts, at Double-A Corpus Christi this year.

PHI: LHP J.A. Happ (11-4, 2.79 ERA)
Happ hopes to continue to build his case for National League Rookie of the Year in what might be his second-to-last start of the season. He allowed six hits, two runs, two walks and struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings Thursday in a victory over the Brewers at Miller Park. Happ improved to 11-4 with a 2.79 ERA. His ERA is 10th-best in franchise history among rookies.

Tidbits
The Astros enter Tuesday with an 11-5 record at Citizens Bank Park, the best among NL opponents. ... Right fielder Hunter Pence enters Tuesday with eight homers and 15 RBIs in 14 games against the Phillies in his career. ... Closer Jose Valverde has a 1.23 ERA and 23 saves and four wins since being activated from the 15-day disabled list on June 13.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FS-H HD

On radio
• KTRH 740, KLAT 1010 (Español)

Up next
• Wednesday: Astros (Brian Moehler, 8-11, 5.21) at Phillies (Cliff Lee, 14-12, 3.19), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Astros (Felipe Paulino, 2-11, 6.51) at Phillies (Pedro Martinez, 5-1, 3.32), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Friday: Astros (Wandy Rodriguez, 14-11, 2.97) at Mets (John Maine, 6-6, 4.72), 6:10 p.m. CT

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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