Astros lefty reliever Sergio Escalona will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2012 season. The 27 year-old injured his elbow at the beginning of Spring Training while participating in swinging drills. After a successful rookie campaign in 2011, Escalona came into camp as a favorite to win a spot in the Astros bullpen. Those hopes have been dashed.
The Astros now have only three healthy left-handed bullpen candidates remaining in camp. Escalona’s injury means Fernando Abad, Zach Duke, and Wesley Wright now have a better chance of making the team than they did yesterday. The Astros will probably start the season with two of the three lefties in the bullpen. Abad is the only one of the three that still has minor league options remaining. Duke and Wright cannot be sent to the minors without first passing through waivers. Xavier Cedeno, who is currently in minor league camp, is also a possibility and could get another look. Newly acquired Kevin Chapman also moves up the food chain. If the youngster has a good year perhaps we will see him this September.