Astros left handed starting pitcher Brett Oberholtzer was scheduled for a minor league game, but was been scratched due to a minor injury.

According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, Oberholtzer is dealing with a mild left lat strain.

“He’s still playing catch, still doing all the drills and everything, but we’re going to hold him out of the back-field game until he gets further evaluated next week,” Hinch said.

Oberholtzer was scheduled to pitch in a minor-league game Sunday, but an MRI exam Friday revealed the lat strain. He initially felt lat discomfort after making a pickoff throw during his outing Tuesday.

“I went in and got an MRI and it’s just a little tightness, nothing to worry about,” he said. “I’m still on my throwing program, but just taking a little break off the mound for about a week or so.”

Oberholtzer has a 3.60 ERA with eight hits and four strikeouts in five innings this spring.

Oberholtzer is a leading candidate for the number four spot in the rotation, but remains in competition with Dan StrailyAsher Wojciechowski and Alex White.

Acquired from the Atlanta Braves in the Michael Bourn trade, Oberholtzer enjoyed a solid first season with the Astros in 2013, finishing with an ERA of 2.76 and 1.10 WHIP in 143.2 innings. Last season wasn’t as kind, as he regressed to the tune of a 4.39 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 24 games and 143.2 innings in four stints with the major league club.

 

 

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