Astros Rehab Assignment Update

Astros Rehab Assignment

Over the past few weeks, the Houston Astros had a small wave of injuries. However, there has been good news on the injury front in recent days. Ryan Pressly came back from a neck strain on Friday and got the save. With the season winding down, the Astros could be receiving some reinforcements soon. Houston has a few players who could be nearing a return. Here is an update regarding the Astros players who are on or nearing a rehab assignment.

Verlander Update

Undoubtedly the most important Astros player on the IL is Justin Verlander. The veteran is arguably the AL Cy Young favorite and figures to be a difference maker once again in the postseason. Verlander was placed on the IL on August 30 with a calf injury. According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, the future Hall of Famer threw about 30 pitches in a bullpen session on Friday. He will throw again in a couple days. If all goes well, the Astros and Verlander will decide if a rehab assignment is in his horizon.

Diaz Update

Utility-man extraordinaire Aledmys Diaz may be nearing a return. Diaz was placed on the IL in mid-August due to a groin injury. The veteran began a rehab assignment on Thursday, according to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. If the stint goes well, Diaz could return sometime next week. Before the IL stint, Diaz was mostly used in left field due to Michael Brantley’s injury. However, with Trey Mancini playing some left field, Diaz may return to his roving utility role.

Reliever Update

Verlander and Diaz are the key Astros who are nearing a return. However, there are a couple of relievers who have not been essential for Houston this year, but could be interesting weapons down the stretch.

The first of the pair is the left-handed throwing Blake Taylor. Taylor has not pitched in the majors since the beginning of June due to an elbow injury. The lefty had to pause his rehab assignment because of discomfort, but restarted it last week. Houston went a big chunk of the season without a strong left-handed option. They traded for veteran Will Smith at the deadline, so if Taylor comes back, the Astros could have two lefties to turn to.

The other bullpen piece that is on a rehab assignment is right-hander Josh James. James hasn’t pitched in the majors at all this year because of injury. His season debut may not be too far away though. In 106 2/3 innings at the major league level, James strikeouts per nine innings is 13.3. Although he has barely pitched over the last three seasons, he is an intriguing piece.

The Astros look very good as the final month of the season wears on. If all goes well for these rehabbing ‘Stros, Houston can get that much better. Health permitting, the Astros have one of the deepest rosters in baseball, hence why they are the number one seed in the AL. The Astros hope to find themselves in the World series once again, and health is one of the key factors in the formula of success.

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Players Mentioned:

Ryan Pressly, Justin Verlander, Aledmys Diaz, Michael Brantley, Trey Mancini, Blake Taylor, Will Smith, Josh James