Notes: Loretta, Lamb remain with club
Duo express relief at not being traded before deadline
ATLANTA -- Mark Loretta saw his name in the Astros' lineup on Tuesday, but not until 4 p.m. ET -- just as the trade deadline had passed.
Loretta played first base and hit second in the opener with the Braves, but until manager Phil Garner told him he was staying put, Loretta wasn't sure if he should get too comfortable in the visitors' clubhouse, or if he should think about packing his belongings.
Same for Mike Lamb. The two veteran infielders generated the most interest of the players the Astros were willing to trade, but in the end, general manager Tim Purpura could not find an offer to his liking from any of the teams that were pursuing his soon-to-be free agents.
Both players expressed relief to not have been traded, but Loretta admitted the hours and days leading up to the trade deadline are "intriguing," especially if it meant being traded to a contender.
Loretta was believed to have sparked interest from the Mets and Padres, among other teams in the last few weeks.
"You're intrigued by the scenarios," he said. "All you know is rumors. You don't know which are made up or which are true. You start hearing some teams...when [Jose] Valentin got hurt, you start hearing about the Mets, and they're a first-place team. That kind of piques your interest.
"It's not necessarily that you're disappointed or not disappointed [to not be traded], it's more of the curiosity than anything else."
Lamb admitted the hours leading up to Tuesday's deadline were nerve-wracking, for himself and his wife, Teresa, who's at the family's home in Houston with their two kids, Andrew and McKayla.
"It's a burden off both of us," Lamb said. "[Teresa] sat home trying to plan what she's going to do with a two-year-old and a one-year-old. This just eases it a little bit."
Lamb said he occupied his time with his PlayStation for most of the day, but his wife gave him regular updates as to which teams were doing what.
"From everything I heard leading up to the deadline, I wasn't expecting to get traded anyway," Lamb said. "It's nerve- wracking, when you get asked about it for the last week. It's coming down to the deadline, it's nerve-wracking. It wasn't much fun. I had days that have been more fun. But it's over now and we move on."
September callups: Rather than accompany the Astros through their two-city road trip, Purpura will travel to the club's top two affiliates located in Round Rock and Corpus Christi to evaluate the talent in the upper tier of the Minor League system.
Purpura indicated a strong possibility that several pitchers could be called up when rosters expand on Sept. 1.
"There are four pitchers at least we want to take a look at and see if they can help us in September," Purpura said.
Among the likely candidates is left-hander Troy Patton, who is 2-1 with a 4.88 ERA over four starts since his promotion to Triple-A in early July.
On the road again: Adam Everett is traveling with the team for the first time since he broke his leg in mid-June, and on Tuesday, the shortstop was back on the field, working with third-base coach Doug Mansolino.
Everett fielded grounders, but at a slow pace -- the balls were rolled to him, rather than hit with a fungo bat.
"I'm trying to get back in the swing of things and get my feet under me as much as I can right now," Everett said. "I was pretty excited. You're a little disappointed when it doesn't go as perfectly as planned, but it's getting better. I'm doing more stuff every day. That doesn't mean I'm not pain-free yet, but hopefully someday in the near future, I will be."
When Everett broke the fibula in his right leg during a collision with outfielder Carlos Lee, the shortstop was given an estimated recovery time of four to eight weeks. It's quite possible, however, that Everett will not be ready to return to the team by mid-August, which would be the two-month mark. An early September return is not out of the question.
Slowly progressing: A little over a week after going on the disabled list with a fractured wrist, center fielder Hunter Pence has been cleared to do light resistance exercises, using five-pound weights.
"I'm moving it a little bit now and I can do a lot more things," Pence said. "I'm doing well."
Pence also took a few dry swings in the batting cages.
"Slowly," Pence said. "It went well. I was happy with it."
Coming up: The Astros and Braves will meet again at Turner Field on Wednesday, beginning at 6:35 p.m. CT. Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (7-9, 4.28) will face Braves righty Buddy Carlyle (5-3, 4.25).
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.