Mark Appel Sent Back To Extended Spring Training

Jun 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros first overall draft pick Mark Appel waves to fans during the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Luhnow announced that Mark Appel will be headed to Extended Spring Training. 

Here’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz (Houston Chronicle) with the quotes from Jeff Luhnow.

Welp. Not exactly the words that fans want to hear in the first month of the season.

Appel, 22, was the first overall pick of the 2013 MLB Draft and was going to be counted on for a big year by Astros fans. Instead, nothing went right for Appel.

Appel underwent an emergency appendectomy in late January. His Spring Training started late as he worked on building up strength after the operation. He started the season at Lancaster where he allowed 10 runs (9 earned) in just 13 innings.

Appel has struggled, but it’s important to note that the Astros don’t believe this is an injury. They believe he hasn’t adjusted well to the tandem-pitching system, which often has pitchers pitching every four days. This is the first time the team has acknowledged an adjustment issue during their tandem-pitching times.

The Astros hope to build up Appel’s stamina at Extended Spring Training, before throwing him back in the fire, likely back at Lancaster. Had Appel been healthy and ready to go this season, it’s possible we may have seen him in Houston later this season. This setback likely puts his ETA sometime in 2015. Hopefully, this is just a minor bump in the road for a future Astros ace.

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