While a trade didn’t materialize yesterday, the Astros were busy shuffling the active roster.
Unfortunately, injuries will be remembered as a key obstacle in the story of the 2017 Astros. Starting pitchers, relievers, position players, it doesn’t matter.
You can probably say that about any team in every season. Injuries are just a harsh reality.
The Astros, though, have been hit hard this season with injuries. Even when they get two main cogs back, they lose another one.
First, let’s dissect the good news.
Dallas Keuchel, the Astros’ ace, made his first start yesterday since early June. Exactly an eight week difference between that start and yesterday. Regardless of the end result, it was good to see the bearded southpaw back out there on the mound.
Another key component of Houston’s success has been Will Harris. As you may recall, Harris has been sidelined since early June in what was deemed a shoulder issue. The good news from the onslaught was this didn’t sound like a long-term worry. But anytime one of your best relievers go down for a shoulder, you can’t help but be a little worried. Let’s hope the time off helped him out. If any small measure could help, Harris did complete a rehab assignment early in the week with no apparent issues.
So, in short, the Astros got their best starting pitcher and a top reliever back from the DL. This is a welcome development.
Now, let’s dissect the bad news.
George Springer, who has an 161 wRC+ this season, was placed on the 10-day DL with left quad discomfort. This unfortunate development took place in Philadelphia when the Astros played the Phillies. The All-Star outfielder got his cleat caught in the outfield as he was making his to a ball.
The Astros are wisely being conservative in this approach. If Springer is unable to play at 100% right now, then why push him when you hold a double-digit lead over every team in the AL West? In fact, the entire American League.
The hope is that Springer will return towards the end of next week ready to go. But with leg injuries, you have to be careful. And the Astros are doing just that.
MIchael Feliz, though, was not sent to Double-A with an injury. No, it was more of a performance issue.
This is a blow to the bullpen as Feliz was viewed as a key cog in unit. His early season results point to as much.
The Astros’ goal for now is to let him spend some time in Corpus Christi to work on a few issues.
All in all, the Astros were busy the Friday before the trade deadline. But it was mainly used to address injuries and performance issues.
**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs**