Houston Astros Rumors: Three implications of Josh James’ quad injury

Josh James of the Houston Astros (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Josh James of the Houston Astros (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Houston Astros pitcher
Forrest Whitley of the Houston Astros (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

Forrest Whitley’s arrival could be sooner than we think

So, the Houston Astros starting rotation and bullpen now seem pretty much set. There really isn’t anything else the team needs to figure out in that respect. However, the implications of this injury don’t stop at the rotation and bullpen, they also bleed into the farm system.

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This is especially true in regards to the top pitching prospect in all of baseball, Forrest Whitley. The Astros saw Whitley as the best prep pitching prospect in the draft in 2016 and were able to select him with the 17th overall pick. Whitley has done nothing but prove them right since then.

He has a crazy dominant fastball that can easily reach the upper 90s but it doesn’t have just velocity, it also has a great cutting motion while moving on a downhill plane. But, he’s more than just a fastball, he has three additional pitches and they’re all plus pitches.

He has a hard 12-6 curveball that completely drops off the map as it approaches the plate to go with a biting slider and a nice, fading changeup. Whitley is the complete package and if it weren’t for an 80 game suspension for PEDs and an injury in 2018, he might be in the above conversations but he’s getting close to that already anyway.

That being said, James injury could have major implications for Whitley as well. If Valdez struggles or is just average while Whitley dominates the minors, it could open the door for him to join the rotation by summer. This could be a very real possibility, especially after a dominant first appearance this spring.

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The Houston Astros outlook for the 2019 season looks extremely good so far. If the pitching rotation and bullpen work out then we could easily be looking at another championship run this season.