Astros news: Projecting starting rotation with Jose Urquidy’s return

Houston Astros, Jose Urquidy (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Houston Astros, Jose Urquidy (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros may finally be getting some good news on the injury front with the return of Jose Urquidy. Here’s how the rotation will look on his return.

You look back on what Jose Urquidy was able to do in his rookie year last year and you just can’t help but smile. Here’s a guy that didn’t walk a whole bunch, kept the ball in the park, and who could ever forget how well he did when the pressure was turned up to 11. And the Houston Astros will be getting him back soon.

Urquidy wasn’t perfect last year. He had some real stinker outings against Cleveland and the Angles, but for the most part, he was incredibly reliable, and have I mentioned how he just doesn’t walk that many people? He walks less than half as many batters as the rest of the starting rotation’s average.

Sometimes you just need something specific, and Urquidy is far and away that something specific. A starting pitcher who will throw strikes and deliver quality starts? Please and thank you.

Jose Urquidy is exactly what the Houston Astros need

But what does that mean to the rest of the rotation?

Chances are, no one is going to be outright bumped from the rotation. With so few off days and more doubleheaders incoming, having a sixth starter is a useful weapon to have, especially when he’s a viable sixth starter.

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Urquidy is not that sixth starter, however.

With Zack Greinke as the fill-in ace and Lance McCullers Jr. still trying to make sense of that second slot, Urquidy could very well push up into the third slot in the rotation, if not fourth just behind Framber Valdez.

That’s pretty damn good. And if Justin Verlander can come back, that’s all you need. But that unfairly excludes the two rookies Brandon Bielak and Cristian Javier.

In the event that the Astros do break down to a five-man rotation, and most of the time they still probably will. No point in keeping Greinke off the hill longer than he needs, one of those two guys has to make way and move to the bullpen, and that guy would have to be Bielak. He’s been absolutely shelled in two straight games now. Shelled to the point that it was a guaranteed loss, essentially.

Javier hasn’t been at his best, but he’s still able to mitigate damage like Bielak has not been able to yet. That’s the big difference. There will always be outings where things go awry, your job as a starter is to limit the damage. Javier can, Bielak can’t yet.

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Meaning the rotation on Urquidy’s retun is quite simple—Greinke, McCullers Jr., Valdez, Urquidy, Javier. I’m feeling pretty good about that.