Right-hander Vincent Velasquez, the Astros' No. 8 prospect, started Friday for the first time since being sidelined by a groin injury two months ago. Velasquez threw two innings in the Gulf Coast League, as the Rookie-level Astros defeated the Yankees, 5-2.
Velasquez, ranked No. 93 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, has been on the disabled list since May. On Friday, in the first start of a rehab assignment, Velasquez struck out four batters and allowed one hit in two innings.
Velasquez began the season with Lancaster and appeared in eight games before his injury. He went 4-1 with a 2.89 ERA and struck out 33 batters in 28 innings.
The Astros selected Velasquez in the second round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. He missed the '11 season after he underwent Tommy John surgery, but he has pitched well since returning to action in '12. Velasquez went 9-4 with a 3.19 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 110 innings last season with Class A Quad Cities, earning a late-summer promotion to Lancaster.