The Astros announced today that righty Charlie Morton will be placed on the 10-day disabled list, as Jake Kaplan of The Athletic was among those to report (Twitter links). He’ll be replaced on the active roster by reliever Chris Devenski, who was activated from his own DL stint.
Morton is dealing with “right shoulder discomfort,” per the team’s account. That description is somewhat ominous on its own, but evidently shouldn’t be interpreted in such a manner. Fortunately, per Houston GM Jeff Luhnow, the expectation is that Morton will only miss a single start.
It certainly doesn’t see as if the AL West-leading ’Stros feel as though this injury is cause for particular concern. While the organization still needs to hold off a pesky A’s club that’s dealing with its own, perhaps more serious pitching health troubles, the focus will surely remain on getting Morton to full health for the postseason.
The Astros have already dipped into their farm to fill in for Lance McCullers Jr., who is himself on the DL, installing Framber Valdez into the rotation. With several relievers on hand who can give innings, it may not be necessary to call another starter up to account for Morton’s absence. If the organization does look at adding another arm at some point, though, it can call upon 40-man members such as Brady Rodgers, Cionel Perez, and Reymin Guduan.
All told, there’s really no reason to anticipate that the Astros will feel particularly compelled to add another arm via trade. Indeed, Luhnow said yesterday that “there’s no clear missing piece” on the roster, as Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reported. McCullers is expected to return as a reliever rather than building out to a full starter’s workload, but the ’Stros still have three excellent postseason starters (in addition to Morton) and can also ask for multiple innings from pitchers such as former starters Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock. Luhnow didn’t shut the door to an acquisition entirely, but there’s little reason to think that any dealmaking will be driven much by Morton’s current health situation.