Busy off day for the Astros

Astros pitcher Brian Moehler said Thursday he torn the tendon off the bone in his left groin area during Wednesday’s simulated game in St. Louis and is seeking more input from doctors about what course of action he should take.

Moehler flew to Houston from St. Louis on Wednesday night and was examined Thursday morning by team medical director Dr. David Lintner. Moehler will have to choose between having the groin repaired surgically or trying non-surgical procedures.

“Dr. Lintner said you see more of this in football players and hockey goalies than you do baseball players, and he said a lot of studies are showing now that they’ve had success without surgery,” Moehler said. “We’re going to talk to a couple of other doctors who specialize in that area, and Dr. Lintner wants to know as well and see what they have to say.”

Moehler said Lintner was surprised with how well Moehler was moving around Thursday. He even threw a baseball off flat ground without pain. He plans to work out Friday at Minute Maid Park and rejoin the team when it returns to Houston on Monday.

“I’m not in any pain,” he said. “I’m walking around fine, and that’s very surprising. I thought I’d be in discomfort.”

Moehler admitted there’s a chance he might not pitch again this year.

“My head’s spinning because I don’t know which way to go,” he said. “If I do rehab and it doesn’t’ work, then I’ve wasted six weeks or however long it would take me to get back on the mound. I just need to talk to as many people as people and see what the other doctors have to say.”

The 38-year-old Moehler, who has been on the disabled list since July 8 with a right groin strain, is 1-4 with a 4.92 ERA in 20 games, including eight starts.

Also, right-hander Felipe Paulino is scheduled for a second opinion on his ailing right shoulder and will visit Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Aug. 12.

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Major League Baseball made official what was reported Wednesday by announcing Astros’ Minor League players Marcos Cabral, a shortstop, Jonathon Fixler, a catcher, and Danny Meszaros, a pitcher, were suspended 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

All three tested positive for Methylhexaneamine and began serving their suspension immediately. On Wednesday, MLB announced pitcher Richard Rodriguez of the Astros’ Dominican Summer League team had been suspended for 50 games for using a performance-enhancing drug.

Astros general manager Ed Wade released a statement about the suspension that was understandably strong:

“The Houston Astros fully support the efforts of the Commissioner’s Office to rid our sport of any type of inappropriate drug use. Our players and staff have been briefed, counseled, educated and warned about what the ramifications and consequences are when they choose, either knowingly or not, to violate the MLB drug policy. And yet, despite the best efforts of MLB and the Astros, we still have individuals who abuse our game by ignoring reality. We are embarrassed by these types of suspensions. They are a smear on our game and our organization, and we will redouble our efforts to make sure the message gets through.”

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Astros general manager Ed Wade, in Corpus Christi to watch the Hooks play on Thursday night, said shortstop Tommy Manzella reported to Corpus Christi to being his rehab. He’s been out six weeks with a fractured left index finger.

The plan is for Manzella to get two at-bats in two games and then increase to three at-bats in two games before playing in a full game. He will then continue his rehab at Triple-A Round Rock. The longest the rehab could last is 20 days, but Manzella hopes it won’t be that long.

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The Astros made official the signing of first-round pick Delino DeShields Jr. during a news conference Thursday at Minute Maid Park. DeShields inked for a signing bonus of $2.15 million, which is around the suggested slot recommendation.

For a complete story on DeShields, as well as pictures and video of the news conference, click here.

Here are a couple of other stories Astros fans should read that posted today at Astros.com:

 

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