At 19-15 and firmly in the American League playoff race, the Astros have hung tough this season despite an array of health problems. Right-hander Jose Urquidy’s among the many players they have missed for an extended stretch, but it appears he could make his 2020 debut with a start Saturday, per manager Dusty Baker (via Brian McTaggart of MLB.com). Urquidy will throw a bullpen session in the meantime.
It’s hasn’t been disclosed why Urquidy has been unable to pitch this season, but regardless, he could be a welcome down-the-stretch pickup for Houston. The 25-year-old entered the majors a season ago and acquitted himself well over 41 innings, logging a 3.95 ERA/3.68 FIP with 8.78 K/9 and 1.54 BB/9. Urquidy averaged 93 mph-plus on his fastball and yielded a solid .285 weighted on-base average/.299 expected wOBA to opposing hitters in the process.
Should he slide back into Houston’s starting staff in the coming weeks, Urquidy would join a group that has received tremendous production from Zack Greinke and Framber Valdez. Those two have kept the Astros’ rotation afloat during a season in which they’ve largely gone without reigning AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, who has totaled just one start (back on July 24) because of forearm problems. The Astros have also turned to Lance McCullers Jr., Cristian Javier and Brandon Bielak for starts, but they’ve been a mixed bag in terms of run prevention and peripherals.