The Astros win again last night despite the third starting pitcher to be placed on the DL in May.
It started with a short stint on the DL by Dallas Keuchel with a pinched nerve in his neck. When Keuchel returned, soon after that, Charlie Morton hit the DL with a strained lat muscle. Unlike Keuchel, Morton most likely will be out for a longer period. The Houston Astros made two roster moves yesterday to get back to 25 players on the active roster.
The Astros secretly called up David Paulino before last night’s game and put him in the bullpen. Then they decided to surprise us by telling us that Paulino will start tomorrow in place of Joe Musgrove. Brian McTaggart reported that Musgrove would be placed on the 10-day DL with shoulder discomfort. It is expected that he misses only one start.
With Musgrove still being young, the coaching staff will find ways to get him some rest to stay strong later in the season. Paulino had an outside chance of making the team out of spring training, but an injury squashed those hopes. Now he will be given the opportunity to show he has what it takes to stick in the rotation.
A second lefty in the bullpen.
We can think of Paulino replacing Musgrove on the active roster, but who will be replacing Jordan Jankowski, who was sent down after Monday’s game in the bullpen. According to Kaplan, that would be Reymin Guduan, who will show some impressive velocity from a left-handed reliever. He can struggle with wildness, but he made some strides this spring with the Astros.
One of those two arms could stick until Morton returns from the DL. It would not be shocking if Paulino stayed around as the long-reliever and spot starter once Musgrove returns. This will give the Astros a chance to see what they have in Guduan before they try to go out and acquire a lefty at the trade deadline.
A look at the stats.
Keep in mind that the Pacific Coast League is known as a hitter-friendly league. In Triple-A this year, Paulino is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 14 innings. His first two starts were really impressive, but he was hit around a little in his third start. Paulino also has nine walks in 14 innings, but he will work on his command with the big league coaches. This will also be an audition to see how Paulino can handle being an MLB starting pitcher.
Guduan has a 3-3 record with a5.47 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings. He does have 11 walks which shows why he hasn’t reached the Astros until now. Both players could debut for the Astros in today’s finale starting at 12:10 pm. Hopefully, Guduan is more than just an extra arm in the bullpen, would like for him to get an extended look.
***Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference***