Friday, April 25, 2014

Black Friday: Things fall apart

Oh Jeez. Every Bad Thing is happening this afternoon. Let's unpack this.

*Matt Albers has been placed on the 15-Day DL, and Jose Cisnero has been called up to replace him.

*Jesse Crain has developed bursitis. That early May return isn't going to happen, since he won't be able to throw for at least another week

*2013 1-1 pick Mark Appel has been sent from Lancaster back to Kissimmee for Extended Spring Training, but not because he's injured (as we wondered yesterday morning).

There is no timetable for his return. Now remember a couple of things: this is Appel's first full season, and the piggyback system isn't exactly standard operating procedure. Mike Foltynewicz developed some elbow discomfort last season, and Rudy Owens complained about how his arm hurt earlier this season in regards to the tandem pitching plan. Also, Appel had the whole appendicitis thing in late January, and didn't get a normal Spring Training. Were he to have these numbers (6.23 ERA in 13IP) in March, would we be as nervous?

Regardless, this is a pretty stunning move. It's obviously good that Appel isn't injured, but the Astros aren't willing to let him get injured in order for him to become adjusted to a four-to-five day rotation. Due to injuries and call-ups thanks to how much the Astros sucked in 2013, the tandem system didn't last much past May. I wonder if the Astros are going to keep Appel in Kissimmee until a similar situation arises and Appel can get his strength up and adjust to a "more regular" schedule at a place where we're not writing about his every pitching appearance.

*How about some good news? Delino DeShields is healing up, and is expected to be "better" in the next 7-10 days.