Astros All-Star setup man Ryan Pressly needs knee surgery, could miss rest of regular season

The Astros are likely to cruise to an easy AL West division title (again) and are looking at another deep playoff run, but their bullpen just took a tough blow. Setup man Ryan Pressly needs arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told reports (via astros.com) Thursday. The surgery will take place Friday, though Luhnow wouldn't say specifically what the injury is. 

Via astros.com: 

"He pitched in a couple of games recently and his stuff looked good, but the knee continued to bother him," Luhnow said. "So we did further evaluation and we found a new injury that needed to be addressed surgically. Not a major injury, but something we don't want him continuing to pitch with."

Though savvy manager A.J. Hinch will mix it up at times, Pressly has generally been used as the primary setup man to closer Roberto Osuna this season, when healthy. In 50 1/3 innings, Pressly pitched to a 2.50 ERA and 0.93 WHIP with 65 strikeouts and only 11 walks. He was deservedly an All-Star. 

Needless to say, this hurts. There are fewer than six weeks left in the regular season, so it's possible the Astros don't get Pressly back in time for the playoffs. 

Still while it hurts, this isn't exactly a death knell on the Astros' World Series chances, either. Will Harris is having an excellent season and will serve as the primary setup man now, while Chris Devenski and Hector Rondon are fully capable of pitching well in the late innings. Joe Smith is back and having a great start to his season. 

Let's also keep in mind, when discussing the playoffs, that Hinch has been known to use starters in relief, sometimes extended relief. 

This does hurt the Astros, but not as much as it would teams with more paltry bullpens. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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