Astros News: Justin Verlander injury, Kyle Tucker update, Jose Abreu fallout

The Astros have their work cut out for them as they navigate multiple issues on their roster.
Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels
Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

While the Houston Astros nearly got a no-hitter courtesy of Ronel Blanco over the weekend, the fact remains that this Astros team is struggling to get anything going. Houston is just 5-5 over their last 10 games, remain six games under .500, and are well out of a playoff spot at the moment.

Complicating matters, the Astros' roster is dealing with a lot of turmoil at the moment. Not only is the team having to deal with the fallout from the decision to release Jose Abreu, but the injuries continue to pile up on both sides of the ball with the team's season hanging in the balance.

Astros News: Justin Verlander scratched due to neck injury, but no IL stint expected

The last thing Houston needs right now is another injury to their rotation in the wake of the season-ending injuries to both Cristian Javier and Jose Urquidy. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the Astros have on their hands as Justin Verlander was scratched from his latest start with neck discomfort.

It is never good news when a guy of Verlander's caliber (and age) has to miss a start due to an injury, and finding out after the fact that he has been dealing with neck pain for a couple weeks is cause for concern. However, both Verlander and Astros manager Joe Espada indicated that the pitcher's neck issue has actually improved from where it was and that scratching him was precautionary. No IL stint is expected.

That said, things can change quickly and we should know more in the coming days as to how much more time he could, miss if any.

Astros News: Kyle Tucker injury update is a mix of good and bad news

Houston was fortunate that Kyle Tucker didn't suffer a serious injury after fouling a ball off his shin. However, the fact remains that the bone contusion that put Tucker on the IL hasn't healed overly quickly and fans have been eager for updates as to when they can expect Tucker to take the field again.

The good news is that Tucker is progressing well now and there is a chance that if he can go through running drills normally, the Astros could bring him right back in time for the team's upcoming series against the White Sox. The bad news is that if he is still sore during running drills over the next day or two, Houston may opt to have him go out for a rehab assignment to manage his workload before bringing him back.

Astros News: Houston calls upon Cooper Hummel to be short-term Abreu replacement

Though many argue that it was overdue, it was still shocking that the Astros released Jose Abreu. While Abreu clearly wasn't contributing and a change was needed, the fact remains that Houston needs to follow up the move with changes that actually help the team.

For the moment, they are turning to Cooper Hummel to replace Abreu on the roster and will lean on Jon Singleton to play first base. However, it does feel like this is going to be a short-term situation as the early hints are that the Astros will call Joey Loperfido back up once he is eligible (he was recently optioned and therefore has to wait 10 days before he can be recalled again) and is likely to see some time at first base.

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