Astros double down on saving season with surprise promotion of top pitching prospect

Houston is not messing around when it comes to turning their season around after their latest shocking promotion.
Houston Astros v Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros v Detroit Tigers / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

It isn't exactly a secret that the Houston Astros pitching staff is in a rough place at the moment. They already lost Cristian Javier and Jose Urquidy to season-ending arm injuries and now they are having to deal with Justin Verlander being on the shelf with a neck injury that hasn't healed the way the team has hoped. Combine that with J.P. France getting demoted and then hurt, along with guys like Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr. who have been out for a long time and you have yourself a real pickle.

Given the context of how the 2024 season has gone, a lot of teams would cut their losses and start planning for next season. However, general manager Dana Brown has been clear that he thinks the Astros are going to turn this season around and is not going to be throwing in the towel just yet.

Thursday's bold roster move underscores the Astros are now operating under, however, as it was reported that Houston is promoting Jake Bloss to the big leagues after an impressive showing in the minors this season.

Astros News: Houston to promote Jake Bloss to majors from Double-A, to debut Friday

Regular followers of the Astros' minor leagues are already aware of Bloss' resumé of dominance this season. Drafted in the third round of the 2023 MLB Draft, Bloss has impressed pretty much everyone with his mid-90's fastball and pair of above average to plus breaking balls. In 12 starts between High-A and Double-A in 2024, Bloss has posted a sterling 1.74 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 62.1 innings of work.

While promoting a guy straight from Double-A who was only drafted last year is surprising and still uncommon, it follows a recent trend of aggressive promotions around the league. The Atlanta Braves, who employed Brown previously before he took the Astros' GM job, are the clearest examples as Spencer Strider, Spencer Schwellenbach, AJ Smith-Shawver and especially Hurston Waldrep all were given big league opportunities after short stints in the minor leagues.

For the Astros, this comes down to having few options left than to at least try to see if they can catch lightning in a bottle. Quick promotions come with a lot of risk for any player, but Bloss has played very well this season and has improved his ability to pound the strike zone.

As a college arm, he also has some higher level experience as well from his amateur days. The only question now is whether or not he can keep it up against the best hitters in the world. The Astros are clearly betting a lot that he can.

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