The Houston Astros top prospect Forrest Whitley has been placed on the Minor League 7-day injured list due to apparent shoulder fatigue.
The injury woes of the Astros have trickled down to the Minor Leagues. Forrest Whitley, Houston’s #1 prospect and the third-ranked pitching prospect on the MLB Pipeline, has been shut down and placed on the MiLB Injured List. The Minor League doesn’t have a 10-day list, so he’s been placed on the 7-day list for now.
It is reported that Whitley has been experiencing shoulder fatigue and will head down to the Astros’ Spring Training facility in Florida to work things out and rehab. It’s sounding more and more like it may be a while before he’ll be pitching for the AAA Round Rock Express.
This is Whitley’s first year at the AAA level and it has been a disaster up to this point of the season. In eight appearances, including five starts, he has an 0-3 record and an astronomically high ERA of 12.2. In his three previous seasons in the minors, he has an accumulative 3.14 ERA.
One of the statistics that really stands out is his strikeout rate per nine innings along with his walks per nine. From 2016 – 2018 Whitley had a SO/9 ratio of 13.1 and a walk rate of 3.19 BB/9. So far in 2019, his SO/9 rate is 10.7 and BB/9 rate is 5.5.
Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow doesn’t seem too concerned and thinks he’ll be able to turn it back around.
“He’s disappointed with how he’s performed and I think this will be a good opportunity for him to take stock in where everything is and work with our pitching coaches and not be distracted by (pitching) 60 miles from his hometown,” Luhnow said Wednesday. “It’ll be a good opportunity for him. I think he’s mentally strong and I think he’s going to take this. He’s had setbacks before and he’s made it through.”