If a team is looking for ways to fortify their roster, one option is the 2021 Trade Deadline, which is fast approaching. There are plenty of players on the trade market who can heavily improve a team. However, there are other ways for a team to get better. A franchise can look either in the minor leagues or on the trade block if their team isn’t getting healthier. In the Houston Astros case, they have reinforcements on the horizon just from coming off the Injured List. As the July 30th trade deadline approaches, here is an Astros injury update.
On the Pitching Front
There are many baseball analysts who believe the Astros are a pitcher or two away from becoming serious World Series contenders. Well, Houston is hoping they will be getting three pitchers off the Injured List soon. One of the pitchers who is on a rehab assignment is Pedro Baez, who has yet to make his Astros debut. Baez missed the beginning of the season after testing positive for COVID-19. As he was returning from the virus, he injured his shoulder. However, his day may finally be coming. According to Danielle Lerner of the Houston Chronicle, Baez will need another week and a half to two weeks at Triple-A Sugar Land before he makes his season debut. His presence will be a welcome addition to a bullpen that has had its’ share of inconsistencies.
Another bullpen piece who will make a return soon is Josh James, who also has yet to make his season debut. The reliever had offseason surgery on his left hip. He was attempting to return in June, but a hamstring issue slowed that. As he was working his way back from the hamstring issue, he was struck by a liner and he re-aggravated the injury. He restarted his rehab assignment on Sunday, so it is not clear when he will make his debut. However, barring any setbacks, James should be able to return in August.
Jose Urquidy does not have a clear timetable for a return from his shoulder injury. However, the goal is for him to undergo one more flat-ground throwing session before embarking on a rehab assignment according to Lerner of the Houston Chronicle. Before his latest injury, Urquidy was 6-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 77.1 innings.
According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, Aledmys Diaz will make his return Monday. Diaz had been out since June 6 due to a fractured right hand. The return of the utility-man will be great for the depth of the squad. He was hitting .278 with three home runs and 18 RBI before the injury.
Houston’s lineup will be getting one of its biggest pieces back sooner rather than later. Alex Bregman will begin a rehab assignment at Triple A on Monday. He is not expected to be activated during the team’s ten-day road trip, but the hopes are he returns after that. He was hitting .275 with seven homers and 34 RBI before hitting the Injured List.
The Astros have plenty of options in the trade market if they choose to spend the money, however the team also has ways to improve internally. The Astros injury situation is improving. If the team gets fully healthy, Houston can significantly improve, without even having to make a big move.
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