With just a few weeks left in the season, Astros manager Bo Porter is monitoring the innings of his team's young starting pitchers.
That includes 22-year-old right-hander Jordan Lyles, who is the longest-tenured starter on the Astros' pitching staff. He'll be on the mound Tuesday against the Mariners at Safeco Field for his 23rd Major League start of the season.
"As we move forward, these guys' next starts, we'll make some decisions on some of these guys," Porter said.
The Astros have been restricting the workload of their young starters by using a six-man rotation for the past month. However, Lyles has thrown a combined 153 innings this year (23 2/3 at Triple-A and 129 1/3 in the Majors) and could pass his career high of 158 2/3 in his start Tuesday.
He didn't factor into the decision on Wednesday against the Twins, allowing three runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Just like the Astros, the Mariners are also thinking ahead during the last few weeks of the season. However, manager Eric Wedge is making sure his club keeps playing hard even though it is out of playoff contention.
"I think you're going to look at your body of work as a whole, but everybody wants to finish strong. First and foremost with the club, people remember how you finished vs. how you start more times than not, so you want to finish strong," Wedge said. "Once you get into the offseason, once you get past that first couple weeks, you start looking at your entire season vs. just how you finished, but you should learn from all of it."
Mariners left-hander Joe Saunders is also hoping to finish his season on a high note. He'll make his 30th start of the season after taking a no-decision on Thursday against the Royals by allowing three runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings.
He is 3-1 with a 4.50 ERA against Houston this year, tossing 6 1/3 scoreless innings in his lone home start against the Astros back on April 8.
Astros: Corporan returns from DL
• Catcher Carlos Corporan was activated from the disabled list on Monday and started behind the plate at Safeco Field three weeks after suffering a concussion.
Corporan, the Astros' primary backup catcher all season, played in three rehab games at Double-A Corpus Christi, catching seven innings Saturday without any problems.
"I thought it was going to be seven days and that was it," Corporan said of his timetable to return to the lineup. "It was one week with symptoms, another trying to get ready and the other to do my rehab. I thought that it was not going to be that serious, but after I got hit and started getting my symptoms it was really scary."
Mariners: Felix to miss start
• Ace Felix Hernandez will miss his scheduled start on Wednesday against the Astros because of a minor oblique strain, Wedge said on Monday.
Brandon Maurer will make the start instead. The rookie right-hander started 10 games earlier this season and has been working in long-relief out of the bullpen. He is 4-7 with a 6.85 ERA this season.
Hernandez already had his start pushed back from Sunday after being removed from an outing on Sept. 2 in Kansas City in what was originally believed to be cramping in his lower back.
"I will pitch [again]. I'm fine," Hernandez said. "Why would they shut me down? I've got to go out there and do my best. That's what I'm trying to do. We're trying to finish strong. We're trying to win as many games as we can."
• Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is 18-for-40 in nine September games.
• Seattle is 6-12 in extra innings this season, which ties a club record from 1982 for extra-inning defeats.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.