The Astros still haven’t decided on who will be the starting pitcher for the game against the Colorado Rockies Tuesday. Could it be Jose Urquidy?
With Brad Peacock placed on the 10-day Injured List and the recent demotion of Framber Valdez, the Houston Astros are all of the sudden short starting pitchers. As of this morning, Houston has yet to announce the starter for the series opener in Colorado. Did GM Jeff Luhnow give us a big hint today?
According to Brian McTaggart, the Astros beat reporter for MLB.com, Jeff Luhnow suggested that Urquidy might be called up from AAA Round Rock to make his Major League debut. Although, nothing official, it does sound like a real possibility.
Jose Urquidy has been in the Astros’ organization since 2015. The native of Mazatlan, Mexico, showed promise as he moved up from the Rookie League to A+ ball in 2015-16. In his first Minor League season, Urquidy appeared in eleven games with five starts and was 2-1 sporting a 3.35 ERA. In 2016, he continued his success pitching in 24 games and lowering his ERA to 2.94.
He then ran into some bad luck and missed the entire 2017 season and half of 2018 after having to undergo Tommy John Surgery. The 24-year-old proved that he wouldn’t allow that surgery to hold him back. In his 2018 midseason return, he appeared in 13 games and lowered his ERA even further to 2.35.
Urquidy has split this year between AA and AAA, getting promoted to Round Rock in mid-May. Since his call-up to the AAA level, he has pitched in eight games, starting all but one. In that span, he is 3-1 with a 2.89 ERA. Urquidy has compiled 104 strikeouts in 76.2 innings earning him an impressive SO/9 IP ratio of 12.2 on the year and 13.2 at AAA.
It’s still not a sure thing that Urquidy will actually get the call to join the Astros for Tuesday’s game. But if his name is mentioned by the GM in an interview, you can bet he’s more than a blip on their radar. If called up, he would be the eighth pitcher to start for Houston at this halfway point of the season.