Before the Houston Astros‘ Thursday contest, it was reported that pitching prospect Jojanse Torres hit the surgical table, as he had “arthroscopic surgery on Wednesday to remove a bone chip from his right elbow.” The right-hander made a big jump from Class-A baseball in 2019 to Triple-A in 2021, but in eight appearances, Torres posted a 7.32 ERA.
Torres was a fan speculation for a prospect pitcher to take a 40-man seat, but at this point, we don’t know when he will be returning to the Skeeters. While the 25-year-old is out, Ryan Hartman got his opportunity to make his MLB debut but was optioned a day later.
With injuries falling all around, Ryan Hartman was called up then optioned, which was a smart move.
The Astros optioned Ryan Hartman for Peter Solomon, as having fresh arms will be a tough factor with Jose Urquidy on the injured list. The six-man rotation will most likely die off with Urquidy down and the 20-game stretch coming to an end, but Hartman’s call up was a brilliant move.
While it is expected for the front office to make game changing roster adjustments, DFAing Francis Martes opened up a roster seat for a pitcher that could help benefit now. Martes, who is now exposed to waivers, is no longer the top prospect that he once was. With him off the 40-man roster, it proves the Astros aren’t relying on him at the moment or in the near future.
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If he was just going to sit around and still progress in Triple-A, it burned a roster spot for an optionable pitcher. Hartman claimed his seat and now can be optioned for fresh arms, just like the Astros optioning him for Solomon. If a pitcher is optionable and his replacement is of the same caliber, we could see more moves like this, as it provides more options for a worn out bullpen.
Looking at the rehab assignments, the Sugar Land Skeeters now house Joe Smith, Josh James, Enoli Paredes, Austin Pruitt and Bryan Abreu, who would all immensely update the bullpen. James traveled with the team to Cleveland to throw a bullpen, before continuing his rehab assignment with Triple-A.
At the moment, Brandon Bielak, Andre Scrubb, Ralph Garza Jr. and Solomon make the most sense to be in the option category for these pitchers’ returning.