It seems like everyday the Astros have another starter go down with an injury, this time starting pitcher J.A. Happ. He strained his oblique muscle in an exhibition game yesterday Class AAA Oklahoma City. The severity of the strain will determine how much time Happ will miss but I would not be surprised to see the Mills and the Astros aire on the side of caution here and have Happ start on the DL. It is a long season and Happ is a young pitcher who will be relied on heavily this season and if he is rushed back too soon he could just reaggrevated it and miss even more time.
The Astros right now are looking more like the walking wounded than a baseball team with starters Jason Castro having a torn ACL and out for the majority of the season, shortstop Clint Barmes has a broken wrist and is out for six weeks, and super reserve Jeff Keppinger had surgery on his left foot and expected to miss six weeks. All these players will be starting the season on the DL. Not to mention J.R. Towles, who is expected to replace Castro, is battling a back injury that may have him miss the start of the season. It has been an interesting spring and the training staff in Houston is definitely earning their pay.
If Happ is able to come back from his injury and make his scheduled start Sunday, he will be taking on his former team and matched up against the pitcher the team traded him for, Roy Oswalt. Hopefully, Happ is healthy enough to make the start as this is a great story line and I am sure Happ would be fired up to go against the Phillies. If he can’t go, Bud Norris is expected to get the start against Roy Oswalt.