Astros' Whitley experiencing arm soreness
Seven pitchers have made their Major League debuts for the Astros this season, but No. 19 overall prospect Forrest Whitley has notably not been one of them. Now we know why. Whitley, who is training at the Astros' alternate site in Corpus Christi, has been dealing with soreness in his
Seven pitchers have made their Major League debuts for the Astros this season, but No. 19 overall prospect
Whitley, who is training at the Astros' alternate site in Corpus Christi, has been dealing with soreness in his right arm, manager Dusty Baker told MLB.com on Saturday. The discomfort began during one of Whitley's Summer Camp outings and recurred during a recent session in Corpus Christi. While the severity of the injury is unclear, it hasn't been enough to shut Whitley down.
“He’s throwing, but do you take a chance in injuring him or do you push him?” Baker said. “At this point, if a guy says he’s sore and not right, then it’s not right.”
The Astros selected Whitley out of a Texas high school with the 17th overall pick in the 2016 Draft and he reached Double-A in his first full Minor League season. Injuries have derailed him since.
The top Astros prospect threw only 26 1/3 innings in 2018 because of a 50-game suspension and two injuries to his obliques. He began last season at Triple-A Round Rock but compiled a 12.21 ERA in eight starts. The right-hander missed seven weeks with shoulder fatigue, then went on to finish the year with a 7.99 ERA, 86 strikeouts and 44 walks over 59 2/3 innings across four levels. Whitley never made it back to the Pacific Coast League.
The months since had gone well for the 22-year-old, however. Whitley led the Arizona Fall League in strikeouts for the second consecutive year, fanning 32 over 25 innings, and posted a 2.88 ERA on the developmental circuit. And early in camp, Whitley was focused on the present, ready for whatever opportunities came his way during the shortened 2020 season. Then health got in the way again.
“Whitley might have had a great chance to break with us,” Baker said.
Joe Bloss is a contributor for MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jtbloss.