The Houston Astros finally received some good news when it comes to the status of their starting rotation.
This spring has not been kind to the Houston Astros. With the team already playing without ace Justin Verlander for the majority (if not all) of the 2021 season, they saw top prospect Forrest Whitley undergo Tommy John surgery and Framber Valdez suffer a broken finger during a spring training game. Luckily for the Astros, they received some good news for once regarding Valdez on Thursday.
According to Dr. Steven Shin (via Bob Nightengale of USA Today), surgery was not recommended for Valdez and his MRI actually showed “significant healing.”
Framber Valdez does not need season-ending surgery
During a start earlier this month, Valdez fractured his left ring finger while fielding a ground ball hit by New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor. The initial belief was that Valdez would have to go under the knife to repair it, likely ending his season. That was what enticed the Astros to sign former Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi. Now, surgery is no longer on the table, greatly benefiting the Astros’ rotation entering the 2021 campaign.
While this is certainly great news, there is still no official timeline for his return this season.
Valdez is coming off a strong season with the Astros. Through 11 appearances (10 starts) in the truncated campaign, Valdez accumulated a 5-3 win-loss record, a 3.57 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP while striking out 76 batters in 70.2 innings of work. Valdez was even better in Houston’s postseason run to the ALCS, where he went 3-1 and recorded a 1.88 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.
The Astros have lofty goals entering the 2021 season, and it appears that Valdez will play a part in achieving them. But when he will officially take the mound for Houston remains a mystery.