Astros Adjust Rotation as Cristian Javier Hits 15-Day IL Amid Team Struggles

Astros shuffle rotation as Javier lands on injured list

by Nouman Rasool
Astros Adjust Rotation as Cristian Javier Hits 15-Day IL Amid Team Struggles
© Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images

Correspondingly, the Houston Astros have placed right-hander Cristian Javier on the 15-day injury list one that has led to a shuffle in the team's pitching rotation. Consequently, right-hander Hunter Brown will start today against the Washington Nationals.

Right-hander Spencer Arrighetti has also been recalled to the active roster. Speaking to reporters, including Matt Kawahara of the Houston Chronicle, Astros skipper Joe Espada said the decision came with the reason of allowing Javier some time to rest unspecified issues.

Javier has been one of the better pitchers for the Astros this season, who have so far floundered to a 7-15 start. He's worked 23 1/3 innings with a 1.54 ERA and a 3.66 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) rate.

Injury Impact Deepens

Javier's absence adds to a growing list of injured Astros pitchers.

Notably, the team recently welcomed back veteran ace Justin Verlander. However, alongside Javier, pitchers Framber Valdez, Jose Urquidy, Luis Garcia, and Lance McCullers Jr. are also sidelined. Of these, Valdez is closest to a return.

The left-handed pitcher, sidelined earlier this month with elbow soreness, might rejoin the rotation to face the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field later this week, alongside Verlander and J.P. France. Valdez showed promising form in his two starts before hitting the IL, achieving a 2.19 ERA and a 3.55 FIP across 12 1/3 innings, complemented by 10 strikeouts.

Should his recovery require more time, the Astros may consider Arrighetti for a starting role. The 24-year-old rookie, despite a rough start to his major league career with nine runs allowed over seven innings in two starts, brings potential with eight strikeouts to his credit.

Moreover, the Astros might utilize Arrighetti to strengthen a bullpen that currently struggles with a 5.29 ERA, ranking near the bottom in the American League. With upcoming off-days in the schedule, the Astros have some leeway to manage their depleted pitching staff as they aim to stabilize their season.