CSN Houston’s Cory Hepola is reporting that Mark Appel is leaving Class-A Lancaster and being sent back to Astros Extended Spring Training in Kissimmee. Although Appel’s velocity dipped significantly in his last start, Wednesday night, the team insists the future ace isn’t injured.
It appears as though Appel is still having trouble catching up after undergoing emergency appendectomy surgery in January. Or maybe the rigors of the organization’s 8-man tandem pitching rotation have taken a toll on the first overall pick in last year’s draft.
Jeff Luhnow announced the Appel move today. Said they made the decision together. Appel needs to get used to Pro schedule.
— Cory Hepola (@CoryHepolaCSN) April 25, 2014
Should we be concerned? Or are the Astros just being overly cautious with the player who landed the biggest signing bonus in club history?
No timetable has been set for Appel’s return to league play. So, maybe we should be concerned. And what about the tandem pitching model? Is it to be blamed for Appel’s current condition?
If he is indeed hurt, Mark wouldn’t be the first tandem pitcher to experience problems. But that’s another topic for another time.
Hopefully Appel is simply going through a brief “dead arm” period that pitchers have been dealing with for decades.
Unfortunately, it’s going to hard to keep track of the situation. News from ESP is almost non-existent.