Jeremy Pena Hits IL With Thumb Injury

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One of the league’s most exciting and outstanding rookies is on the shelf for the foreseeable future. The Houston Astros announced on Wednesday that they have placed Jeremy Pena on the 10-day Injured List with left thumb discomfort. Pena suffered the thumb injury diving for a ball on Monday against the Texas Rangers. Pena finished the game, but traveled back to Houston to get the thumb evaluated. In a corresponding move, utility-man J.J. Matijevic has been called up from Triple-A Sugar Land.

After the Astros placed Pena on the IL, manager Dusty Baker talked to reporters about the rookie’s status. He said the MRI revealed no structural damage to Pena’s thumb, but he won’t swing a bat for at least a week. Astros GM James Click said in a radio appearance that Pena’s injury isn’t severe, but they are going to be careful with him. At the moment, there is not a firm timetable for his return.

Prior to the injury, Pena had emerged as one of the leading candidates for AL Rookie of the Year. In 54 games this season, Pena is slashing .277/.333/.471 with nine home runs, 27 RBI, and six stolen bases. His 2.9 WAR, according to Baseball Reference, is seventh in the AL among position players. Pena’s 1.1 Defensive WAR is third in the AL.

Other Astros Injury News

Still yet to make his season debut, Lance McCullers Jr. is making steps toward a return. MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reported Tuesday that the veteran pitcher is hitting 90 mph with his fastball while also throwing his changeup, cutter, and sinker. McCullers Jr. is still a long way from a return, but the righty is making progress.

Another pitcher currently on the mend is Jake Odorizzi. Odorizzi has been throwing bullpen sessions, and taking pitcher’s fielding practice at about 70%. The veteran will have to take PFP at 100% in order to go on a rehab assignment. It appears Odorizzi in on track to return in early July.

Outfielder Jake Meyers has been on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sugar Land since the beginning of the month. Meyers should be able to return from a torn labrum sometime around the end of June.

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Players/Managers Mentioned:

Jeremy PenaJ.J. Matijevic, Dusty Baker, Lance McCullers Jr., Jake Odorizzi, Jake Meyers