On Thursday, Framber Valdez was scratched from his start against the Texas Rangers, as he has a “light slice” on his index finger of his left hand. He sustained the injury on the outfield wall during batting practice on Wednesday. While Luis Garcia takes the mound on Thursday night, Valdez could slide back into the Houston Astros’ rotation this weekend, but the probable starters are still to be announced.
With Jake Odorizzi currently on the injured list with a mid-foot sprain, the right-hander looks to be back in the rotation once his 10 days are up. As we pass the halfway mark for September, the Astros are currently six games into a 17-game stretch without off days.
This doesn’t leave much time off for the starting rotation, especially with Odorizzi on the IL and Valdez waiting on his next start date. The six-man rotation seems to take an injury blow right before it comes into fruition, but with no day off anytime soon, Peter Solomon could help with a spot start.
The Astros could benefit from calling up Peter Solomon for a spot start sometime this week.
Solomon made his return to baseball in 2021, after Tommy John surgery sat the right-hander out all of 2020. With there being no minor-league season in 2020 either, Solomon didn’t miss much in the long run.
The right-hander made his major-league debut early in the season in April, when the Astros were hit by a COVID-19 scare. Since then, Solomon has been called-up one other time, as he remained on the active roster for only four days.
Now, the Sugar Land Skeeters are in their final homestand of the season from Thursday until Tuesday, while the Astros travel home this weekend for a three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks. This leaves an easy spot start for Solomon to be called up and optioned back down, after his outing.
A spot start would be an easy evaluation for Solomon, as he could be eyed as minor-league rotation depth in 2022 and possibly trade bait. This season, the right-hander has a 5.07 ERA over 97.2 innings of work and a 10.2 strikeout per nine innings in the Triple-A West, which has been known for inflated pitching numbers due to high elevation and surplus of offensive sluggers.
It would behoove the Astros to grant Solomon, who is on five days rest, a start before roster return to normal at the beginning of October and before the postseason, as he is among some of the top pitchers in the Triple-A West this year. This move also sets the normal rotation back a day, adding a day off to a staff that wouldn’t see another until Monday, Sept. 27.