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Report: Astros pitcher Jose Urquidy expected to undergo Tommy John surgery

In Sports
June 04, 2024

The Houston Astros sit on the fringes of the AL West race, but face some bad news about their starting rotation.

Right-hander Jose Urquidy is expected to require Tommy John surgery. The Astros are sending Urquidy to Dallas orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith Meister for a second opinion on initial imaging results. But the expectation is that Meister will recommend a reconstructive procedure, according to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez and Jeff Passan.

Urquidy, 29, has not pitched for Houston this season after suffering a forearm strain during spring training. At the time, an MRI exam and multiple doctors consulted found no structural damage to Urquidy’s ulnar collateral ligament and he was placed on the injured list with elbow inflammation.

The Astros began the 2024 season with pitchers Justin Verlander, Lance McCullers Jr. and Luis Garcia also on the injured list. Framber Valdez went on the injured list two weeks into the schedule with elbow soreness but returned in late April.

Urquidy was on a minor league rehab assignment and appeared to be on track to return to the Astros. The sixth-year pitcher made two rehab starts with Triple-A Sugar Land without any setbacks. However, he left his third appearance upon feeling forearm soreness after 52 pitches, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Imaging was performed on Urquidy last week before the visit with Dr. Meister was scheduled. Astros general manager Dana Brown was asked about the likelihood of Tommy John surgery for Urquidy and pitcher Cristian Javier, who went on the injured list last week with right forearm discomfort.

“We’ll know something probably by the end of this week, maybe Thursday or so as to what direction we’re going to go in,” said Brown, via The Athletic’s Chandler Rome.

Astros manager Joe Espada had a similar response when asked to comment on the ESPN report before Monday’s matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals.

“We’re giving Urquidy and Javier the space they deserve and we’re just waiting to hear from the second opinion and the results they get from those guys,” Espada told reporters, including KPRC’s Randy McIlvoy. “

Last season, Urquidy notched a 5.29 ERA while being limited to 63 innings (in 16 appearances) due to right shoulder discomfort. However, he became a key part of the Astros’ starting rotation during the previous three seasons, compiling a 3.71 ERA and 241 strikeouts in 301 innings.

In five seasons with Houston, Javier has a 3.59 ERA with 564 strikeouts in 501 innings (116 appearances).

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