Valdez (finger) will throw three innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Sugar Land on Friday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. Valdez's fractured left ring finger was at one point worried to be a season-ending injury, but it looks as though he's on track to miss significantly less than half of the campaign. A three-inning appearance Friday would likely leave him two or three rehab starts away from returning to the active roster, placing his probable return sometime in early June.
Valdez (finger) will throw a bullpen session Friday and head out on a minor-league rehab assignment thereafter, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports. Valdez is making rapid progress in his recovery from a fractured left ring finger, an injury the Astros initially feared would sideline him for the majority of the season. He's now nearing the final phase of his rehab program, but Valdez will presumably need at least two or three rehab starts to build up to a starter's workload, so his return to the Astros could still be close to a month away. Whenever he makes his return, Valdez will give a significant lift to the Houston rotation, coming off a season in which he compiled a 3.57 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 76:16 K:BB in 70.2 innings.
Valdez (finger) could throw a bullpen session in Houston this week, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. Manager Dusty Baker said Sunday that Valdez could return from the injured list in June. The left-hander threw a 20-pitch bullpen session Friday and could do so once again at Minute Maid Park before beginning a rehab assignment in the near future. Valdez recorded a 3.57 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 70.2 innings across 11 appearances (10 starts) for Houston in 2020.
Astros manager Dusty Baker said Sunday that Valdez (finger) could be available to return from the injured list in June, Danielle Lerner of the Houston Chronicle reports. "Hopefully he'll be ready sometime to come back, which is a miracle, sometime in June. Hopefully," Baker said. Houston initially feared Valdez might have to miss most of the 2021 season after he fractured the ring finger on his (left) pitching hand in early March, but the southpaw was able to avoid surgery and seems to be progressing faster than expected. After completing a 20-pitch bullpen session Friday, Valdez should gradually ramp up over the next few weeks before eventually heading out on a minor-league rehab assignment. Valdez's return -- whenever it may come -- will be a huge boon to the Houston rotation after he broke out in the abbreviated 2020 campaign with a 3.57 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 9.7 K/9 over his 11 outings (10 starts).
Valdez (finger) threw a 20-pitch live bullpen Friday, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reports. The lefty starter avoided season-ending surgery on the finger injury and has made rapid progress in his recovery, with Thursday's live session being the next step toward a return. Valdez was stellar in 2020 and, after recovering from the injury and rehabbing in the minors, will slot in as a key cog in the Houston rotation.
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