Sampson almost ready to return
Right-hander Chris Sampson, who’s eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday, threw in the bullpen at Minute Maid Park prior to Wednesday’s game and says he’s on track to return to action in time for next week’s crucial road trip to Chicago and St. Louis. He’s been on the DL retroactive July 10 with right shoulder spasms.
“I felt like I hadn’t slept in two days and slept on a rock-hard bed when I did sleep,” Sampson said. “Not only was my [shoulder] a little stiff, but my body’s stiff. I cut some pitches off today, but based on the circumstances of the last couple of days I felt great.”
Sampson worked out at the ballpark before scurrying to The Methodist Hospital to pick us his wife, Heather. She gave birth Tuesday to the couple’s second child, a boy named Colt Parker Sampson.
Sampson will throw lightly during Thursday’s off day and throw a simulated game Friday.
“That will be a better judge because I’ll have had a normal life for a couple of days,” Sampson said. “I don’t think there’s anything to set me back.”
Meanwhile, second baseman Kaz Matsui, who fouled a ball off his right knee Tuesday and crumpled to the ground, was back in the lineup Wednesday and said he was fine. Lance Berkman is progressing in his battle with a Grade 2 calf strain and could return to the lineup Friday.