Astros starting pitcher Mark Appel had to undergo an appendectomy in Houston Thursday, the Astros announced Friday. The first-round pick and highly-touted prospect will be in camp when pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 15, however.
“Mark will be fine,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. “He will report to camp on time. Once he arrives in Spring Training, we'll see where he is at health-wise and take it from there. We anticipate that he will either be ready to work out at the start of camp or very close to ready.”
The Astros also noted that the procedure was "standard" and that there were no complications.
So, for the time being, this seems an issue of very little concern when it comes to Appel's health heading into the 2014 season.
Appel, 22, was the first overall selection in the amateur draft last June.
After signing, he made two starts for the Astros' Low-A affiliate and eight starts in Class-A. In all, he went 3-1 with a 3.79 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in 38 innings. Having been at Stanford for four years, he's polished and isn't expected to need much time in the minors. In fact, many scouting outlets expect him to see the majors this season at some point.