Astros righthanded pitcher David Paulino is expected to start the season on the disabled list.
News broke on Sunday that Astros pitcher David Paulino, who hasn’t pitched since March 10, will start the season on the DL. Paulino stopped throwing after experiencing elbow discomfort. He will now miss the start of the minor league season. Tests showed no structural damage, according to A.J. Hinch via Jake Kaplan.
When people hear elbow discomfort, people tend to think the worst. The injury is a bone bruise on his elbow. While not a serious injury, Paulino had virtually no chance of making the opening day roster. With other starting pitching prospects on the way up, it’s not clear whether Paulino will be a starter or reliever.
The boys at Talking Stros talked about Paulino’s injury last night.
The Stros expected Paulino to pitch for Triple-A Fresno to start the year and be in line for a midseason call-up. Now, though, the team must push that timetable back as it exercises caution with its young hurler. This Spring, he pitched seven innings while striking out four hitters. His 3.86 ERA this Spring is better than his career 7.56 ERA.
The 23-year-old appeared in three games for Houston last season, giving up four runs in seven innings. In his brief time in the big leagues, Paulino showed potential as a power pitcher. However, he pitched to a 1.84 ERA in the minors in 2016, splitting his time between starting and relieving.
MLB Pipeline ranked Paulino as the Astros fourth-best prospect. When Jim Callis joined Talking Stros, he raved about Paulino’s potential impact with the Astros. Paulino is part of the team’s impressive pitching depth. He will be on the 25-man roster at some point.
***Statistics courtesy of baseball-reference.com***