The Astros announced that they’ve placed right-handed reliever Joe Biagini on the 10-day injured list due to shoulder soreness and, in a corresponding move, selected the contract of right-hander Andre Scrubb from their alternate training site.
Biagini, 30, averaged 94.5 mph on his fastball as a reliever from 2018-19 but came out of the gates in 2020 averaging a diminished 92.6 mph on that heater. He allowed a run on two hits with a strikeout in two-thirds of an inning in his lone 2020 outing. Biagini struggled in his time with the ’Stros last year, but he turned in a 3.78 ERA with a strikeout per inning and solid control in 50 frames before being traded from Toronto to Houston.
Scrubb, 25, has yet to advance to Triple-A but will now jump directly to the big leagues. Houston acquired him in the 2019 trade that sent Tyler White to the Dodgers. He split last year between the Double-A affiliates for Houston and L.A., pitching to a combined 2.78 ERA with 10.6 K/9 against 4.6 BB/9. He’s not among the organization’s top-ranked prospects, but his solid showing in Double-A last year landed him in the team’s 60-man player pool (and now on the 40-man roster).
With Scrubb joining the bullpen and Bigaini landing on the injured list, the Houston bullpen now has an incredible seven pitchers who entered the season without so much as a day of MLB experience. In addition to Biagini, the Astros also have Brad Peacock, Austin Pruitt, Rogelio Armenteros, Justin Verlander and Jose Urquidy on the injured list at the moment. Given the mounting number of injuries, it’s not difficult to see why the club is pursuing a depth pickup of Fernando Rodney, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the ’Stros were to make some similar additions in the near future.