The Houston Astros will be without pitcher Rogelio Armenteros for a few months.
The Houston Astros have lost some key pitching depth for the next few months. Right-hander Rogelio Armenteros underwent surgery on his right elbow to remove a bone spur. He’s expected to be out for around four months.
This news comes a few weeks after Armenteros was shut down from throwing early in spring camp. At the time, it was reported he was experiencing both elbow and shoulder soreness. He wasn’t expected to make the Opening Day roster, but now it looks like he won’t be contributing for several months.
The 25-year-old made his major league debut in 2019, pitching to a 4.00 ERA in two starts and three relief appearances. FIP liked his performance, and the ERA+ stat estimated him to be about 18 percent better than league average, though 18 innings is a small sample.
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Once the regular season begins (whenever that happens), the Astros will presumably have a healthy Justin Verlander atop the rotation. That leaves Jose Urquidy, Josh James, Austin Pruitt and Framber Valdez to fight for the final two rotation spots. The remaining two would presumably be the first guys up in the event of an injury.
There are other options available as well. Bryan Abreu, though maybe better suited to the bullpen this year, could start if needed. Other starters on the 40-man roster include Cristian Javier, Kent Emanuel and Cy Sneed, who’s had a strong spring in his own right.
While Armenteros will be missed, the Astros should have sufficient depth to withstand being without him for a few months. The only scenario where this would really hurt them would be if the injury bug strikes with a vengeance and multiple fill-ins are needed. Aside from that doomsday scenario, the Astros will be fine.
For Armenteros, it’s an unfortunate setback, but at least he’s not undergoing Tommy John surgery. He’ll be back this year and hopefully will compete for a roster spot. He has a bright future ahead and should see this as a mere speed bump to be overcome.