Charlie Morton is the latest Houston Astros player to hit the DL with a strained lat.
The Houston Astros are 34-16, the best start in franchise history. They have won the first two games versus the powerful Baltimore Orioles lineup. Last year’s World Series champs, the Chicago Cubs, were 35-15 after 50 games. Everything appears to be going well in Houston right now, except for the nonstop construction on roads.
The Astros also made a bold move (not really) by switching Mike Fiers to the bullpen as the long reliever. Brad Peacock, who finally has started showing the promise of his potential, was moved into the rotation. After weeks of talking about this on Talking Stros, we finally get what we were asking for.
Joe Musgrove is not perfect, but he shows more promise than Fiers. Musgrove essentially sealed the deal Friday night versus the Orioles. Dallas Keuchel and Brian McCann both returned from their brief stints on the DL. Astros fans had a lot to be excited about after last night’s game, especially George Springer homering.
Then you had the bird. Legends say that it was a Rally Bird, helping give the Astros another run last night. The bird took his personal tour of the field at Minute Maid Park and refused to leave when the umpires tried to shoo him away. Manny Machado also tried to shoo the bird away, leading to boos prom the crowd. Exciting times!
Jordan Jankowski finally made his MLB debut after camping out in Fresno for three years. He pitched really well in his stint with the Grizzlies, winning the team’s pitcher of the year award. He was called up when Keuchel was placed on the DL and was returned to Fresno Saturday.
When he made his debut, we now have a mental picture of the emotions a baseball player’s wife goes through. During his appearance, Wednesday night, his wife Jordan was a full of different emotions while she watched her husband pitch.
Charlie Morton has what?
Fast forward to Sunday morning. Brian McTaggart wakes us up on the wrong side of the bed with news that Charlie Morton hits the 10-day DL. It’s not a minor issue like Keuchel had. It’s a strained lat. The scary part is that there is no timetable for return according to McTaggart. Say what you will about Morton, he is currently the number three pitcher on this staff.
"Astros rotation battle: Mike Fiers vs. Joe Musgrove"
While we are all excited about Peacock getting into the rotation, Morton’s loss is a big blow. Aside from Francis Martes (needs to keep his pitch count down) and David Paulino (needs to build up stamina after injury), there is not much available in AAA. Jankowski was then recalled, you have to wonder if he ever left Houston.
There could be another move in store if the want to keep Fiers in the bullpen. With Jankowski coming up in place of Morton, this means that Fiers will be returning to the rotation after a 15-hour stay in the bullpen. If you want to get technical, he was to become part of the bullpen on Monday officially.
It looks like we have something to talk about on Talking Stros after the 10th Inning Show on Sports Talk 790 today. One flag we had on Morton since the beginning was that he had been injury prone. Hopefully, it’s not too serious.
Stats from Baseball-Reference***