Astros P Spencer Arrighetti to make MLB debut vs. Royals

By Thomson Reuters Apr 10, 2024 | 10:08 AM

Because of an injury-depleted pitching staff, the time has come for Spencer Arrighetti, the Houston Astros’ top pitching prospect, to make his major league debut.

The right-hander will get the ball Wednesday when the Astros play the Royals in the second contest of a three-game series in Kansas City. Houston will call him up from Triple-A Sugar Land to fill in for All-Star left-hander Framber Valdez, who went on the 15-day injured list Tuesday with elbow soreness.

A sixth-round pick in 2021, Arrighetti was named the Astros’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year last season.

With Valdez joining Justin Verlander, Jose Urquidy, Lance McCullers Jr. and Luis Garcia on the injured list, manager Joe Espada said he doesn’t want to tax the remaining arms and decided to promote Arrighetti.

“He’s going to be starting the game [Wednesday],” Espada said after the Astros lost to the Royals 4-3 in 10 innings on Tuesday. “We want to make sure we protect some of these guys. Having Arrighetti here will allow us to push everyone back a day and protect our young starters. We’re going to need them for a long season.”

At Sugar Land this season, Arrighetti has made two starts and has a 2.16 ERA over eight innings. He has struck out 10 batters but walked seven. He started two games in spring training, going 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in five innings.

Verlander (shoulder) could return next week after another minor league rehab start this weekend, but Urquidy, McCullers and Garcia aren’t expected back any time soon.

Valdez was scratched from Monday’s start against the Texas Rangers after experiencing soreness and tightness in his forearm. Tests showed inflammation and not a more serious issue — a relief to Espada.

“We’ll see where he’s at in a day or two,” Espada said. “Once the inflammation goes down we can get him throwing again.”

Arrighetti will make his debut against veteran Seth Lugo (1-0, 0.71). In his most recent outing, Lugo earned the win Thursday against the Chicago White Sox, allowing one run on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Lugo has lost both previous starts against Houston, compiling a 9.64 ERA. He’s given up 10 runs over 9 1/3 innings.

The Royals starters have been impressive to start the season, posting a 4-1 record and a 1.88 ERA, second in the majors behind the Boston Red Sox.

Their relievers are 3-3 with a 3.94 ERA. But since Will Smith took a blown-save loss to the Baltimore Orioles on April 3, the Royals’ bullpen has made five scoreless appearances, totaling 16 1/3 innings with 11 hits, eight walks and 16 strikeouts.

That stretch includes Tuesday’s win, when four pitchers combined to throw five scoreless innings in relief of starter Cole Ragans.

“The efficiency of it was impressive,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “Really efficient, which is good for us as we embark on a long stretch.”

Kansas City’s offense has taken advantage of the shutdown bullpen, rallying for come-from-behind wins in consecutive games while scoring 16 runs in the seventh inning or later during their five-game winning streak.

Opponents have out-hit the Royals 26-12 in the past two games, but Kansas City has won both by a combined score of 9-6, fighting back from a three-run deficit in each game.

Tuesday’s hero was Salvador Perez, who recorded his eighth career walk-off hit and ninth walk-off RBI with a 10th-inning single.

–Field Level Media