Astros: Urquidy, Diaz absent as Devenski, McCullers throw
Houston Astros players Jose Urquidy and Aledmys Diaz have yet to arrive at training camp.
We have a few tidbits of Houston Astros news coming out of training camp on Saturday. In addition to Yordan Alvarez and Josh James, pitcher Jose Urquidy and infielder Aledmys Diaz have yet to arrive to camp, but on the plus side, Chris Devenski and Lance McCullers Jr threw simulated games.
Diaz’s absence has a simple explanation, as manager Dusty Baker said he’s on the shelf for a couple days after he slept on his shoulder wrong. With that being the case, I would expect him to show up at some point this week.
Urquidy’s condition is a little more complicated. Baker simply said he has a “condition” keeping him from reporting and offered no further explanation. This is similar to his explanation for Alvarez’s absence, as he said “league mandates” prevented him from offering any further details.
The obvious assumption is that both players’ absences are COVID-19 related, though we have no confirmation that either player tested positive. Still, their absences are difficult simply because we don’t know when they’ll be able to return, which could hurt their ability to be ready for Opening Day.
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In particular, this could really hurt Urquidy. He’s a player who has a second chance to put a disappointing spring behind him and solidify his status as the team’s No. 4 starter. If he’s not able to get to camp soon, he might not be able to get ready in time to make the Opening Day roster, leaving the Astros to find an additional starter to take his place.
Some Good News
On the plus side, both Devenski and McCullers threw simulated games on Saturday as they prepare to open the season. Devenski opened the live batting practice session at Minute Maid Park, and left-hander Blake Taylor also threw.
McCullers, in particular, appears to be in good shape. He threw around 52 pitches yesterday and said he anticipates being able to go around 90 pitches in his first start of the season. After missing all of last year recovering from Tommy John surgery, this is rather impressive. The Astros will certainly need him.