In the midst of Framber Valdez’s finger injury and eight pitchers going through health and safety protocols, Houston Astros prospect Forrest Whitley is battling soreness, as reported by Chandler Rome. This adds, not only to the Astros’ list of pitching issues, but to the somewhat haunted career of Whitley.
While being the Astros’ first-round pick back in 2016, the right-hander was a young high schooler with a lot of hype and expectation behind him. But for every young prospect, it is smart not to rush him and burn his potential. We are close to the five year anniversary of Whitley being drafted, and like many, we are expecting him to make a splash this season.
Whitley’s soreness adds to the list of Astros pitching issues.
At 23-years-old, the Texas native threw in a simulated game and “came up sore,” while no other information was released on his ailment. Whitley has battled injuries and a suspension in his short minor league career, but as always, he has the potential to be an effective five pitch pitcher in MLB.
While looking for a replacement for the injured Valdez, the Astros do not know en exact timetable on his return, but Whitley could be eyed to make his major league debut because of it. The right-hander hit the 40-man list for the first time of his career this offseason, and stated upon arrival, he was healthy.
Looking at the big picture, Whitley can’t catch a break. When fully healthy and progressing, he is one of the most dominant prospects, but these uncontrollable speed bumps are giving fans and analysts worry and doubt.
The Astros are back on the field today against the New York Mets in a seven-inning slate at 12:05 p.m.; the game was moved due to expected thunderstorms this evening. Zack Greinke will be making his 2021 spring training debut.