Deep in Steve Campbell's notebook, we see that someone needs to start Thursday, and it won't be anyone currently with the Big League team.
Manager Brad Mills indicated he’d reveal who will step into the Thursday spot in the starting rotation by Wednesday. He indicated it likely wouldn’t be any of the pitchers on hand, which would keep righthander Aneury Rodriguez in the bullpen.
So who could it be?
Well, it won't be Andy Van Hekken, because he's pitching at 12:05 today in Iowa. It also won't be Lucas Harrell, because he pitched last night.
One possibility is lefty - and Man-Crush Recipient Dallas Keuchel. Thursday would be his regular starting day, anyway, after throwing for OKC last Saturday. But it's not like he has dominated at Triple-A. Far from it. In four starts for OKC, Keuchel has thrown 16.1IP, 34H/23ER, 7K:8BB - but his last two starts have yielded 11IP, 16H/5ER, 6K:4BB. That's not great, but it's not his first two starts, either (5.1IP, 18H/18ER, 1K:4BB).
I like Keuchel, he's a big lefty, and to use the most anti-SABR term possible, he just looks like a ball player. I don't know that the Astros would want to use up an option for a spot start - but it wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility for the Astros to just throw him every 5th day from here on out, just because. Keuchel has also thrown 144IP this season - 30.1IP short of his 2010 total.
Of course, it could also be J.A. Happ. I forgot about him.