What should Astros fans expect from Spencer Arrighetti's MLB debut?

Spencer Arrighetti impressed enough this spring to be the next man up with Framber Valdez hitting the shelf.
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One of the nicer developments from Houston Astros camp was Spencer Arrighetti and how much he impressed during his short stint in spring training. If we were looking purely at merit and not things like roster status, service time, and the use of minor league options, he pitched well enough to make Houston's rotation.

Unfortunately, all of those other considerations do matter and the Astros decided to send Arrighetti back to minor league camp fairly early in March. However, the injury bug continues to bite Houston in 2024 and Framber Valdez hitting the IL has given Arrighetti the chance to prove himself in the majors starting on Wednesday against the Royals.

With that in mind, here's what Astros fans need to know about Arrighetti ahead of his big league debut.

Astros top prospect Spencer Arrighetti to make MLB debut against Royals

While it is never easy for any guy to succeed in the majors right out of the gate, Arrighetti appears to have the right background to hit the ground running. Ranked as the Astros' No. 3 prospect, Arrighetti was drafted in 2021 after three years of seasoning in the college ranks, and Houston hasn't rushed him through the minors. That could, in theory, cost them a year of his prime, but could also serve him well as he's had time to round his arsenal into form.

Speaking of his arsenal, it is no joke. His fastball generally sits in the mid-90s although he can go a tick higher at times. His go-to pitch without question is his slider that misses bats and gets some truly ugly swings. Arrighetti's curve is a nice change-of-pace breaking ball versus his harder slider, and his changeup has shown flashes of being a plus pitch.

The trick is going to be Arrighetti's command of the strike zone, which has been hit and miss in the minors. Even this year in the minor leagues, walks have been an issue, and that's going to be a problem against big league hitters who are far more patient if he can't get the ball over the plate when he needs to.

As for his first opponent, there are definitely scarier teams to face than the Royals. That said, this 2024 Royals team isn't the group of pushovers we are used to seeing take the field for Kansas City. They are 7-4 and have a top 10 offense by fWAR to start the season.

That said, if Arrighetti can just make sure he doesn't let Bobby Witt Jr., MJ Melendez, and/or Salvador Perez beat him (easier said than done), he should do just fine, and then it's on the offense to pick up any slack.

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