Houston Astros: Joe Smith and Collin McHugh eyeing a return soon

Houston Astros pitcher Joe Smith (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Joe Smith
Houston Astros pitcher Joe Smith (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Joe Smith /

Houston Astros relievers Joe Smith and Collin McHugh are currently working on their rehab assignments with the Hooks. How are they doing so far? Look.

Houston Astros fans — the injury bug has bit this franchise quite hard over the past couple of months but it seems evident that the wounds from that bite are starting to heal.  Despite what we thought would be a challenge for this team, they were still able to perform admirably with the tremendous amount of depth that this team has.

Yes, I know the Houston Astros have lost six straight games, something that hasn’t happened in a few seasons but they’ll be okay.  I seriously doubt that they’ll be limping to the All-Star Break, they’ll break out of their funk and be better than ever, ready to compete for another World Series title.

The Houston Astros still have a 7.5-game lead over the Texas Arlington Rangers and they’re eight games ahead of the Oakland Athletics.  But because both teams lost last night, the Houston Astros still maintain a nice cushion despite their errs in wins as of late.

It’s all good in the hood and as that’s going on — there’s a ton of guys that are returning back to the lineup.  Jose Altuve returned to the lineup at the middle of this week, George Springer will likely be in the lineup this Tuesday and Max Stassi has already made his return as well.

It may be a tad longer for Carlos Correa but I’m sure we’ll see him in due time as he heals from what must’ve been a hell of a massage that he received.

Mental note: Remind me not to be a client of his masseuse as I prefer to feel great after having one done.

But anyway, it appears that relievers Joe Smith and Collin McHugh are on the mend and hopefully should be back in the lineup soon.

Smith hasn’t pitched at all in 2019 as he tore his left Achilles’ tendon back in the offseason during a workout.  He has been progressing — in addition to McHugh — have been completing their rehab assignment with the Corpus Christi Hooks.

KRIV FOX 26’s Mark Berman had some video of Smith getting his first taste of real-game action last night:

Smith struck out the side in just one inning of work and got credited with the hold in the Hooks’ 3-0 win over the Springfield Cardinals last night.

McHugh followed Smith up with 0.2 innings of work, recording just one strikeout and a hold.

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Collin currently holds an ERA of 27.00 in his Triple-A work but has whittled it down to 4.50 ERA in his time with the Hooks.  Although those are just numbers at this point, the main thing is if he’s feeling good or not and that will determine how long his stay will be.

He has been sidelined since May 14 with right elbow discomfort and with him getting some quality work in and no reports of setbacks his return could be right around the corner.

I’d imagine Smith is going to get a few more games in before he returns as I know they’re taking a cautious approach with him.  But with the bullpen arms starting to wear out, there’s no question that their services could be used.

Next. Astros: George Springer's return could be just days away. dark

Houston Astros fans — we’re almost to the light at the end of this dark tunnel we’ve been traveling through.

Let’s go.