Astros right-hander Rogelio Armenteros underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow yesterday, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. Armenteros should be ready to pitch again in four months time.
Armenteros, 25, made five appearances (two starts) for the Astros last season, contributing 18 innings of 4.00 ERA/2.77 FIP baseball. He also put together 84 1/3 innings with a 4.80 ERA/5.08 FIP in Triple-A.
While not an upper-tier prospect (Baseball America puts him as the Astros’ #26 prospect, while MLB.com does not rank him among their top 30), Armenteros nonetheless offers some upside as a late-season contributor in 2020. He will be an option for the rotation or bullpen upon his return. Given his lack of big league experience, however, the 25-year-old will likely report directly to Triple-A upon his return. There’s enough uncertainty baked into the Astros’ rotation that Armenteros could very well find himself a key contributor at the tail end of 2020. He’ll have to prove himself healthy and effective first, of course.
In the meantime, the Astros’ rotation is most likely to consist of Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers Jr., Jose Urquidy and Josh James. The fifth spot is officially up for grabs, however, and Verlander remains on the shelf with a lat strain.