Astros: More pitchers out due to health and safety protocols
In the midst of Framber Valdez’s finger injury, more Houston Astros pitchers have been added to the health and safety protocol list. Yesterday came with the news of Ronel Blanco, Bryan Abreu and Luis Garcia being added to this list, but now the depth grows deeper with Chandler Rome reporting that Pedro Baez, Enoli Paredes, Cristian Javier, Francis Martes and Hector Velazquez being ruled out.
In last night’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Martes and Paredes pitched, which could be an even rougher sign moving forward. At the moment, the Astros will not be shutting down spring training facilities according to General Manager James Click and Manager Dusty Baker, while not addressing how many players have tested positive.
With the Astros pitchers room decreasing, what’s the next move?
Even after the Valdez’s injury, the pitching room is declining in arms due to issues circling the pandemic. Although camp will not be shut down, could this be an expected trend for the rest of the season? We can’t fully speculate it, but in this changing time, it could be an issue just like last season.
Protocol doesn’t entail that all these players tested positive, as we have seen players quarantine for being a close contact, but it does mean another downward spike in progression for pitchers needing to make an impact this year. On the flip side, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez are progressing well, while the Bregman is ahead of Alvarez, according to a report from Chandler Rome.
The Astros are back on the field in a seven-inning game on Friday against the Miami Marlins in Jupiter at 12:05, but will not be televised. The Marlins did have a fixed live stream for the game against the Astros on Sunday. Jose Urquidy is scheduled to start followed by Brandon Bielak, Joe Smith and Steve Cishek. Friday also comes with the first “B” game (five innings) of spring training against the Cardinals with Brett Conine, Ryne Stanek, Blake Taylor and Kit Scheetz hitting the bump, but Scheetz might be flipping with Seth Martinez.