James will be out for 6-8 months after undergoing surgery on his left hip Saturday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. James underwent the procedure to repair a labral tear. He's seemingly a lock to miss at least some time at the start of next season, as even hitting the early end of the given timeline would see him back on the field in late April. A slower recovery could leave him out until late June. James really struggled in 17.1 innings this season, posting a 7.27 ERA and a 1.85 WHIP while walking 20.5 percent of opposing batters, though whether or not his hip was part of the problem is not clear.
James left Thursday's win over the Rays in the eighth inning with back tightness according to manager Dusty Baker, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. James got the final out of the seventh before coming out for the eighth. He allowed a game-tying home run to Ji-Man Choi and then retired the next two batters before exiting with trainers. Ryan Pressly, who was likely to enter the game in the ninth inning, got the final out of the eighth. Baker confirmed after the game that James' back tightened up, but did not discuss the reliever's availability for the remainder of the series.
James (undisclosed) will be available to pitch in the American League Wild Card Round against Minnesota, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reports. James has been on the 10-day injured list since Friday for unknown reasons, but skipper Dusty Baker has since disclosed that the right-hander will be available to throw in the first round of the postseason. He appeared in 13 games during the regular season, posting a 7.27 ERA and 1.85 WHIP with 21 strikeouts over 17.1 innings.
James landed on the injured list for undisclosed reasons Friday, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports. Undisclosed reasons in 2020 have often meant COVID-19, though that of course is far from guaranteed. Whatever the reason, his regular season is over, but he could potentially play a part in the playoffs. Chase De Jong was recalled in a corresponding move.
James allowed one hit and struck out three over 1.2 scoreless innings to earn his third hold in Thursday's 2-1 win over the Rangers. James still has an ugly 8.22 ERA, but the right-handed flamethrower has not allowed a run over his last three appearances. He's struck out five without a walk over four innings during the streak. The Astros' bullpen has battled injuries and inconsistency, particularly among the rookies forced into prominent roles, so it would be a boost if James has righted himself after a shaky start.