The Houston Astros get Enoli Paredes back, but Jose Urquidy heads to the IL.
It was probably inevitable, but now we know that the Houston Astros have placed starting pitcher Jose Urquidy on the 10-day Injured List. At the same time, however, reliever Enoli Paredes was activated from the IL, so the team’s struggling bullpen is hopefully getting a big boost.
Urquidy was pulled from Wednesday’s game after just 44 pitches shortly after his velocity dropped a few miles per hour. The team initially said it was due to posterior shoulder discomfort, and a subsequent MRI showed only some inflammation. Urquidy himself described the pain as more of a “cramp” so things don’t seem too serious at the moment.
His next start would have been on Tuesday in Oakland, which would have come with an extra day of rest thanks to the team’s day off on Monday. With that being the case, the Astros will likely just skip his turn and keep everyone else on a normal four days of rest. They won’t need a fifth starter until next weekend in Arlington.
The Astros have Brandon Bielak and Kent Emanuel on the roster, so either of them could step in for a start or two in Urquidy’s absence. As long as the injury remains fairly minor, they won’t have to be without him for too long. That’s good news to a team that’s still without Jake Odorizzi and Framber Valdez, though both are making rehab starts. Urquidy is 3-2 with a 3.22 ERA in eight starts this season.
Leave The Gun, Take The Enoli
The Astros will be more than happy to have Paredes back in the bullpen after he missed more than a month due to an oblique injury. He says he’s ready now and feels 100 percent, and his presence is much needed in a bullpen that’s had its share of struggles this season. Blake Taylor and Josh James are still missing in action, and Pedro Baez has yet to make his Houston debut.
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Brooks Raley and Joe Smith have struggled greatly this season, and Andre Scrubb has also missed time. Ryan Pressly has been excellent, Ryne Stanek has been great aside from being lit up on Saturday, and Bryan Abreu has thrown a lot of high leverage innings. But a healthy Paredes really changes the makeup of the bullpen and gives Dusty Baker another reliable option.
Paredes pitched to a 3.05 ERA and 1.403 WHIP in 22 appearances as a rookie in 2020, occasionally struggling with command while flashing swing and miss stuff. He walked six batters in his three appearances this season before hitting the shelf, so Baker may want to give him a low leverage appearance or two to get things ironed out.
But so far the Astros are weathering their pitching injuries fairly well. It’s entirely possible they could be back to full strength, or close to it, at some point in June. A fully healthy rotation would also likely move Cristian Javier and Luis Garcia to the bullpen, giving them even more depth. All things considered, they’re not in bad shape.