Bud Norris to make rehab start Saturday in Triple-A

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A bit of good news here for the struggling ‘Stros.

According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, recovering right-hander Bud Norris is scheduled to make a minor league rehab start Saturday night at Triple-A Oklahoma City and could return to the big leagues late next week if the outing goes smoothly.

Norris has been out since June 13 with a sprained left knee. He had a 4.81 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 81/28 K/BB ratio in 73 innings before suffering the injury.

Houston entered play Tuesday with a 28-39 record, which stands fifth place in the six-team NL Central.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.