Astros prospects: Forrest Whitley begins rehab assignment

Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /

The Astros’ first-round pick from 2016 started a rehab assignment Thursday.

After missing the entire 2021 season due to Tommy John surgery, Houston Astros‘ Forrest Whitley officially started his rehab assignment Thursday with the Florida Complex Astros Blue in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Placed on the 7-day injured list by Triple-A Sugar Land at the start of the season, the 24-year-old continued throwing progressions from spring training to today. In his first outing Thursday, Whitley totaled two innings on 38 pitches with two walks and two strikeouts.

Averaging 96 mph on his fastball, Whitley surrendered three runs on three hits in limited work. Whitley last pitched in the minors in 2019, where he threw a combined 59.2 innings across four levels.

Reaching Triple A in 2019, the ultimate goal would be to see Whitley finding a spot start with the Astros late into the year when rosters expand. While his next outing should come with Single-A Fayetteville, consistent play in Triple-A Sugar Land is right around the corner.

Through 24.1 innings with Triple-A Round Rock in 2019, Whitley sported a 12.21 ERA with 29 strikeouts to 15 walks.

"“I genuinely believe I’m still a front of the rotation guy, if not the best arm in all of MLB,” Whitley told Astros Future in November. “I know it might sound (conceited) to say, or even ridiculous based off of my recent track record, but when I’m back, I’m coming for their necks with everything I’ve got.”"

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Triple-A outfielder Marty Costes began his rehab assignment Wednesday, also being assigned to the FCL Astros Blue. The righty hitter was slashing to a .595 OPS in 24 at-bats before being placed on the 7-day injured list on May 9.

Costes grabbed one plate appearance Thursday, while being hit by the first pitch he saw. The righty led off as the designated hitter but exited the game after being hit.