The Astros will select the contract of right-hander Jose Urquidy, who’ll be called up to start for them tomorrow, president of baseball operations Jeff Luhnow announced to reporters Monday (Twitter link via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle). His promotion will require a 40-man roster move, but Houston won’t announce that transaction until tomorrow.
Urquidy, 24, wasn’t considered to be among Houston’s top tier of prospects heading into the season but has elevated his status with a solid showing in his first career action at both the Double-A and Triple-A levels. The righty missed the 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery but returned to pitch 57 1/3 innings of 2.35 ERA ball in Class-A last season. This year, he’s posted a combined 3.40 ERA with 12.2 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and 0.94 HR/9. Urquidy is more of a fly-ball pitcher, so drawing his first MLB assignment at Coors Field isn’t necessarily ideal, but he’s been incredibly stingy with the long ball throughout his minor league career (20 homers in 297 innings).
Urquidy ranks 29th among Houston farmhands at MLB.com. Their scouting report pegs his fastball in the low 90s and topping out at 95 mph while praising a plus changeup and noting that his curveball needs some refinement. He’d have been Rule 5 eligible this offseason anyhow, so he was likely to be added to the 40-man roster one way or another between now and December. The ’Stros don’t have an obvious 60-day IL candidate at the MLB level to open a 40-man roster spot for Urquidy. The team has been carrying a pair of out-of-options players in Tyler White and Tony Kemp, and Houston also saw 40-man right-hander Dean Deetz struggle in Triple-A this year before going down with an injury in late May.