José Urquidy Headed to IL; Brandon Bielak Recalled

Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels
Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

After José Urquidy left yesterday's start early, it seemed very apparent he would be headed for a stint on IL and the Astros would be forced to call up one of their depth starters. Dusty Baker confirmed the fate of Urquidy before tonight's contest, announcing he was headed for an IL stint.

Urquidy underwent an MRI this morning, but as of now, the results are unknown. The Astros announced Urquidy will be on the 15-day IL, and recalled Brandon Bielak from Sugar Land to take Urquidy's place on the roster. Bielak beat out Forrest Whitley and J.P. France for the roster spot.

Bielak has appeared in 45 games in his big league career, throwing 94.1 innings with a 5.15 ERA. He debuted in the COVID-shortened 2020 season and got touched up, posting a 6.75 ERA with a 1.75 WHIP across 12 appearances.

He was better in 2021, posting a 4.50 ERA with a 1.38 WHIP spread across 28 appearances and two starts.

Last year Bielak made only five appearances, posting a 3.65 ERA across 12.1 innings, cutting his WHIP to 1.22.

Bielak is currently 0-1 with a 4.12 ERA across five appearances and three starts in Sugar Land. France's resume this year may have been more deserving of the call. France has a 2.79 ERA across five appearances and 19.1 innings. He has also racked up 12.1 strikeouts per nine.

Though some fans were clamoring for a call-up for Forrest Whitley, his 6.00 ERA (and 8.39 ERA across three seasons in AAA) likely took him out of the running.

Bielak isn't going to light the world on fire during his stint with the big league club, but he should be able to help weather the storm of the next month or so until LMJ returns. He can eat innings and help preserve the bullpen, filling a similar role as the last starter in the rotation as Urquidy was already doing.