Astros reliever hit with dreaded season-ending surgery that could alter his career

Houston's bullpen depth just took another shot to the gut.
Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners
Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Coming into the 2024 season, one area of the Houston Astros' roster that certainly could use some more depth was the bullpen -- specifically, the lefties. With Josh Hader basically always slated for those late, high-leverage innings, the only lefty the Astros can currently bring in and play matchups with is Parker Mushinski.

As a result, the Astros began this season really crossing their fingers and toes that Bennett Sousa was going to come back soon.

Unfortunately, that is not going to be the case, as the Astros revealed on Thursday that Sousa had thoracic outlet surgery and will miss the rest of the season.

Astros News: Bennett Sousa out for the 2024 season in another blow to bullpen

Anyone who has been following the Astros lately knows that losing another reliever is pretty much the last thing Houston needed. Between all of the free agent departures and injuries to Kendall Graveman and Forrest Whitley (as well as Sousa), the Astros' bullpen is looking awfully thin at the moment. In Sousa's case, his absence is a long-term one that the team is going to have to solve.

As for Sousa, this is a huge bummer. It looked like he was close establishing himself in a role in Houston's bullpen for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, thoracic outlet surgeries have a really mixed track record of success, with many guys coming back with much weakened shoulders and arms. One hopes he bounces back from this, but it won't be easy to return from that particular injury at full strength.

The good news is that the Astros just made a move that should help absorb the loss of Sousa a bit when they claimed Miguel Diaz off of waivers. Diaz isn't a lefty, which isn't ideal, but he should be able to slot right into that vacated middle relief spot and hold things down until some more Astros arms get healthy.

Our sympathies to Sousa, who would've probably found his way onto Houston's playoff roster if eligible (6 1/3 one-hit, eight K innings last fall), and now has to fight for his career.

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