Astros starter LHP Brett Oberholtzer, who is currently on the 15-day DL with a blister on his left index finger, will make his first official injury rehab assignment today for Triple-A Fresno. The appearance in Fresno will be Oberholtzer’s first official game, although he has pitched to some live hitters recently in extended Spring Training action.
Oberholtzer was expected to start the season as the Astros number four starter, behind Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh and Scott Feldman. He will need at least a couple of rehab appearances before he’ll be recalled to Houston.
According to the Houston Chronicle’s Evan Drellich on Twitter, “He’s shooting for four innings and/or 60 pitches. Oberholtzer figures to need at least a couple more outings after that to build up his pitch count before rejoining the Astros’ rotation.”
Last season for Houston, the 25-year-old, Oberholtzer, opened the season as the Astros third starter, before a slow start caused him multiple trips to the minors. He finally stuck with Houston after the All-Star Break. Oberholtzer started 24 games (143.2 IP) and posted a win-loss record of 5-13, with an ERA of 4.39. He has appeared in 37 games (34 starts), over parts of the past two seasons and owns a combined 9-18 record with a 3.85 ERA.
When he is ready, probably around the middle of May, Oberholtzer will be activated off the disabled list and inserted into the Astros’ rotation.