Astros' latest brutal pitching injury could not have come at a worse time

One of the arms that the Astros may have needed to key their turnaround is instead about to miss a chunk of time with an injury.
Houston Astros v Chicago Cubs
Houston Astros v Chicago Cubs / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Some seasons, nothing seems to go right, and the Houston Astros seem to be right in the middle of one of those years in 2024. They came into the regular season beat up with multiple injuries in their rotation, and since the first day of the season, they have had guys get hurt, underperform, and/or get horrifically unlucky. The end result is an Astros' team in the uncharacteristic position of having to fight for their lives with a tough series against the Yankees coming up.

For Houston to climb out of this mess they have made for themselves, it would have been REALLY helpful if JP France returned to form. France dealt with a shoulder issue that delayed his ramp up and, as it turns out, that foretold a much larger problem.

After making five rough starts for the Astros this season before optioning him, it was revealed on Tuesday that France is going to be out for "a while" with a shoulder injury.

Astros News: JP France to miss significant time with a shoulder injury

Any hope that France could emerge triumphantly from his time in the minor leagues to help save Houston during their rough schedule in May is now officially gone. The exactly nature of France's shoulder injury hasn't been revealed just yet, but shoulder injuries are almost universally bad news for pitchers, especially when the inital prognosis is a long-term absence. Even if he avoids surgery, there is a real possibility that he won't be back with the Astros at all this year at this rate.

So, with another starter down, the Astros' rotation is going to have to make do with what they have, until at least closer to the trade deadline. Verlander being back and healthy helps the cause, and both Cristian Javier and Jose Urquidy should be back soon, with Javier potentially returning as soon as this weekend.

Given how bad France had been before he went down, his loss doesn't "technically" make the Astros any worse in the short-term. However, they may have needed the best version of him to be better this season, and now Houston faces yet another setback on their road to redemption.

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