The Astros have seen a great deal of upheaval in their rotation throughout the season, as established hurlers like Luis Garcia, Jose Urquidy, and Lance McCullers Jr. have spent much of the season on the injured list while up and comers like Hunter Brown and J.P. France have taken up roles in the rotation. In the midst of all that turmoil, left-hander Framber Valdez and right-hander Cristian Javier have stood as fixtures at the top of Houston’s rotation.
That figures to change in the coming days, however, as the club has scratched Valdez from his planned start against the Rangers tomorrow. Manager Dusty Baker indicated to reporters, including Matt Kawahara of the Houston Chronicle, that Valdez had been battling with a sprained ankle since June 20 against the Mets, and the injury worsened during his last start against the Cardinals. Right-hander Shawn Dubin figures to take the ball in Valdez’s stead tomorrow, though his 10.80 ERA in five innings this season doesn’t exactly measure up to Valdez’s Cy Young-caliber performance this season.
Per Kawahara, Baker noted that Javier is still expected to make his start on Monday “as of right now” despite the fact that the right-hander is “scuffling a bit,” as indicated by his uncharacteristically lackluster 5.79 ERA in June. Chandler Rome and Eno Sarris of The Athletic suggest the Astros could push Javier’s next start back by calling up right-hander Brandon Bielak, who was scratched from his start at the Triple-A level today.
More from around MLB’s West divisions:
- The Rockies may welcome back second baseman Brendan Rodgers from surgery before the 2023 campaign comes to an end. Rodgers suffered a torn labrum during spring training that ultimately required surgery, but the 26-year-old infielder has begun to work his way back to the field, per Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post. Rodgers took live batting practice for the first time today, ran the bases and took infield practice. Rodgers will report to Arizona for extended spring training after the All Star break, and manager Bud Black indicated to reporters (including Saunders) that Rodgers could return to the Rockies in August or September. That’s fantastic news for the Rockies, who have relied primarily on Harold Castro and Coco Montes at the keystone in Rodgers’ absence.
- The Padres will be without right-hander Yu Darvish tomorrow, as the veteran hurler was scratched from his start due to a bout of the flu. Annie Heilbrunn of the San Diego Union-Tribune adds that, per manager Bob Melvin, he may not be able to pitch Monday either. Who will start in Darvish’s stead tomorrow is currently unclear, though the club did recall right-hander Pedro Avila earlier today. Avila has made 13 starts at the Triple-A level this season, posting an 8.49 ERA in 46 2/3 innings of work.