Jose Urquidy dazzles in second rehab starts, as he eyes return to the Astros this weekend.
After being out since the end of June, Houston Astros number three or four starter Jose Urquidy completed his third and possibly last rehab start on Sunday August 29. After his first appearance in Florida, where he tossed three scoreless innings of one hit ball, Urquidy made his way to Triple-A.
His second rehab start with the Sugar Land Skeeters also went off without issue, as he tossed four innings allowing two hits and one run while striking out six. Those two starts were just what we have come to expect of Urquidy, both high strikeout and very few runs allowed.
Urquidy’s most recent appearance was more of the same and was probably his last rehab start before rejoining the Astros as the September roster expansion begins on Wednesday. Urquidy tossed five innings, allowing one run and three hits, while striking out five.
As he worked very efficiently through his five innings, only throwing 62 pitches for an average of 12.4 pitches per inning. With his gradually increasing pitch count and increase in innings, he should be back up to a slightly limited pitch count, which could easily notch him five-to-seven innings back with the Astros.
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Looking at the schedule, if the Astros pull the trigger on ending Jose Urquidy’s rehab stint the first night he would be able to pitch would be Saturday versus the Padres. If he starts Saturday that would certainly be a tough first start back against a playoff potential Padres team, but even more so the impact upon the rotation would be the next logical question.
If Urquidy starts in place of Greinke Saturday, that would most likely push back the rotation a day and seem to signal a six-man rotation. I for one and not a proponent of having a six-man rotation, especially with as inconsistent Odorizzi has been this year but it wouldn’t surprise me.
That move would give veterans more rest at the back end of the season, spacing starts apart even more, but it would also potentially impact the teams momentum, when you have solid pitchers at one-through-five with mid to low 3.00 ERAs or lower and then a pitcher with a mid 4.00 ERA or higher.