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Houston Astros Starting Rotation Suffers Another Injury

Houston, we have a problem…an injury problem. Injuries continue to plague the Houston Astros rotation as Cristian Javier is now the fifth Astros starter on the IL.

Right-hander Cristian Javier was scratched from Sunday’s scheduled start with neck discomfort. Astros manager Joe Espada later confirmed that Javier would be placed on the 15-day injured list. Hunter Brown started in Javier’s place on Sunday against the Washington Nationals, and Spencer Arrighetti will be called up in a corresponding move.

Javier, 27, has brought stability to an Astros rotation that has been plagued with injuries. In four starts so far this year, Javier has pitched to a 2-0 record with a 1.54 ERA. The severity of the injury is unclear, and the Astros have not said when Javier could return from the injured list.

Astros Place Cristian Javier on IL

The Astros just welcomed back Justin Verlander, who made his season debut in Friday’s win over the Nationals. Houston still has a full five-man rotation with Javier joining Framber Valdez, José Urquidy, Luis García, and Lance McCullers Jr. on the injured list. García and McCullers are out until at least the All-Star break after they both underwent surgery on their throwing arms last year. Urquidy and Valdez recently threw bullpen sessions and are working their way back, but neither has a clear return timeline.

Following Sunday’s loss, Houston is 7-16 and trails the Texas Rangers by 4.5 games in the AL West. Houston’s 5.12 team ERA is the second worst in baseball and is indicative of their depleted starting rotation. If Javier misses significant time, more emphasis will be placed on the bottom half of the Astros rotation. Right-hander Ronel Blanco threw a no-hitter in his first start of the season and boasts a team-leading 1.33 ERA. Meanwhile, right-handers J.P. France and Hunter Brown have struggled through their first four starts of the season.

Houston has four scheduled off days before the end of April, giving them plenty of time to rearrange their rotation in Javier’s absence. The Astros can get by with a four-man rotation until the right-hander is eligible to return from the injured list. Houston is off on Monday as the Astros travel to Chicago for a three-game series against the Cubs. After being recalled on Sunday, the rookie Arrighietti could make his third career start during this road trip.


Photo Credit: © Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


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