HOUSTON -- Nearly a year since Astros reliever Brandon Lyon underwent a unique procedure to repair the detachment of his right biceps tendon and repair a tear of his labrum, the veteran has progressed so well that he doesn't think about the surgery anymore. Unless, of course, it's brought up by someone else.
"I'm starting to not even think about the surgery," he said. "I'm starting to get to the point my arm feels normal and I haven't really thought about it for a while. It feels good, and I'm glad I got it done when I did so I could be healthy for the season."
Lyon is not only healthy, but he's pitching well. He pitched in his third consecutive game Tuesday, throwing a scoreless inning, and hasn't allowed a run in his last eight appearances at Minute Maid Park. Overall, he's posted a 2.38 ERA in 13 outings this year.
Lyon, in the final year of a three-year, $15 million deal, has even started to entertain the opportunity of playing a few more years.
"Before I had my surgery and the way my arm was feeling, I was wondering how much longer I could actually do it," he said. "Now it's kind of like I'm not seeing the finish line. I'm thinking I can go beyond what I was thinking. If my arm feels good enough, I could go four, five, who knows how many more years."
Slumping Martinez dropped to sixth in lineup
HOUSTON -- Astros left fielder J.D. Martinez was dropped to sixth in the batting order on Tuesday against the Marlins and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, extending his slump to 1-for-30. Martinez had hit third in manager Brad Mills' lineup for much of the season.
Instead, Mills had switch-hitting shortstop Jed Lowrie in the No. 3 spot, while Travis Buck made his second consecutive start in right field, batting fifth.
"Jed's been swinging the bat real well and getting on base and seeing some pitches," Mills said. "I thought he fit right into the three spot a little bit. J.D. is kind of struggling, and I thought we'd drop him down. Buck is doing the same thing, seeing some pitches and getting hits, so we put him in the five spot and we'll go from there."
Martinez, who was hitting .310 with a .430 on-base percentage on April 27, has been swinging at pitches out of the strike zone, Mills said. Astros hitting coach Mike Barnett spent some extra with Martinez on Monday and Tuesday in an effort to get him back on track.
"The biggest thing for me is he got off to a real good start, and clubs saw that, they respected that and then he started taking his walks," Barnett said. "Then he got antsy because he's not getting hits, but he was walking two or three times a game. So then he starts trying to force the issue a little bit.
"Now we have to get him back in the strike zone and take what they're going to give him. If they're not going to pitch to you, take your walk. Eventually what's going to happen is they're going to have to come back in the strike zone for you, and you have to be disciplined enough to get the pitches you want to hit, and if not, then lay off them."
Schafer won't abandon aggressive style
HOUSTON -- Don't expect Astros center fielder Jordan Schafer to change the way he plays the game despite taking more punishment this season than a crash-test dummy.
Schafer, who was in the lineup Tuesday after being hit on the knee by a pitch the night before, has been through an assortment of injuries and discomfort in the first month of the season, ranging from a sprained hand suffered in Spring Training to some lower back/hip tightness.
"That's just part of playing the game," said Schafer, who battled various injuries coming up through the Braves' system. "I'm not going to shy away from playing the game hard to not get dinged up."
The way Schafer sees it, being a speedy center fielder who is active on the basepaths lends itself to various ailments, whether it's running into a wall like he did in Cincinnati earlier this year, or fouling a ball off his foot, which has also happened this year. He also got hit in the head while sliding into second base in Washington and was dizzy.
"If you play a position like center field, and you're a guy that steals bases and can run, I think your body is going to be a lot more dinged up than somebody who plays left field or first base who's not going to be able to run and plays pretty stationary," he said. "There's so many different things throughout the game, whether it's running into the wall or diving in the outfield, stealing bases, my body goes through a lot. I feel fine for the most part. I still have some soreness, but nothing serious."
The Astros made a roster move following Tuesday's game, sending starting pitcher Aneury Rodriguez back to Triple-A Oklahoma City and activating reliever Rhiner Cruz from the disabled list. Cruz had been on the disabled list with a sprained ankle and made two rehab appearances at Oklahoma City. Rodriguez came up for one start, allowing two runs in six innings against Miami on Tuesday.