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Series Preview #23, @ Houston Astros

The Diamondbacks hit the road, facing a familiar opponent in the Houston Astros (literally, we just played them. Thanks MLB, for the great scheduling).

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

What's New?

Well, since the last time we've seen these two teams (literally yesterday), not much has changed. Arizona and Houston split the two-game set, with both games finishing in close fashion. On Monday night, the Astros jumped out to four early runs in the first two innings, and managed to hold off Arizona as they slowly climbed back as they would win 4-3. On Tuesday, it was a Paul Goldschmidt first inning homer that would back a strong start by Bronson Arroyo in a 4-1 win.

After the first end of the home-and-home, Arizona sits at 29-38 overall, 14.5 games behind San Francisco for first place in the NL West. They head out on the road to kick off a five-game road trip, where they are 17-14 this season. Houston is now at 29-37, 11 games behind Oakland in the AL West. They're kicking off a five-game home stand, where they are 14-18 this season.

On The Mend

Diamondbacks third baseman Eric Chavez was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday with an injured left knee. The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday that Chavez's injury will not require surgery.

Houston outfielder George Springer remains day-to-day with knee soreness. Springer was a late scratch in the lineup Monday, and was held out of the order Tuesday.

Roster Moves

Arizona officially activated right hander J.J. Putz from the 15-day disabled list on Monday, and in a resulting move placed Eric Chavez on the disabled list.

The Diamondbacks also designated right hander Trevor Cahill for assignment on Monday; in a resulting move, they recalled right hander Will Harris from Triple-A Reno.

What To Do With Trevor Cahill?

On Monday, the Arizona Diamondbacks made a much-anticipated move with troubled right hander Trevor Cahill, designating him for assignment. But the biggest decision remains: they have ten days to trade, release, or (if he allows) option Cahill to Triple-A. He also can be claimed on waivers, when he would be traded or claimed outright.

Cahill has largely not panned out since being acquired via trade from the Oakland A's before the 2012 season, going through two mediocre seasons before having the wheels come off early on this season. The right hander has gone 1-6 with a 5.66 ERA in 19 appearances (four starts) this season, going from being the No. 2 starter in Arizona to a long relief option.

So what do the Diamondbacks do? Well, they can't trade him and his $16 million left on his contract, so good luck on finding a trade partner or hoping that someone picks him up off of waivers. So that really leaves two options: send Cahill to the minors (if he accepts his option) or let him walk. Ideally, it appears that Arizona wants to simply send Cahill to Triple-A Reno so that they can stretch him back out to being  a starter again, working out issues in his mechanics to make him a productive pitcher again. However, in interviews it appeared Cahill, while wanting to stay in Arizona, would not mind hitting the open market.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1, Wednesday 5:10 PT: RHP Brandon McCarthy (1-8, 5.13 ERA, 3.80 FIP) vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel (6-2, 2.29 ERA, 2.70 FIP)

McCarthy has suffered some bad luck, as some of his stronger outings have resulted in losses and no decisions. He was solid in his last outing, giving up three runs on nine hits in 6.1 innings in picking up the loss against the Braves. Keuchel has been a surprise story for the Astros in 2014, establishing himself as the staff ace by giving up just five runs over his last three starts, including giving up just an unearned run in a complete game against Seattle on May 25th. He threw six scoreless innings in his last start, picking up the win against the Twins.

Game 2, Thursday 5:10 PT: LHP Wade Miley (3-6, 4.57 ERA, 4.34 FIP) vs. RHP Scott Feldman (3-4, 4.12 ERA , 4.65 FIP)

Miley was strong in his last outing, picking up the no decision after giving up one earned run over seven innings against the Braves. The former All-Star has not picked up a win since May 10th. Feldman has had difficulty in his last two outings, giving up nine earned runs over 5.1 innings against Baltimore, and lasting just 1.2 innings (and giving up three unearned runs) against the Twins in picking up two losses.

Series Pick'em

The Diamondbacks are looking to kick off the road trip strong, but run into a tough pitching matchup in the first game. McCarthy has been solid at points this season, and while he may be due for a victory Keuchel has just been too good this season, even with his home "struggles" (1-3, 3.76 ERA). Miley is also due for a win, and I think he rides the momentum of his last start to finally do so. Diamondbacks split, and head to Los Angeles.