The Astros have been put in quite a predicament early into the spring season. They had Framber Valdez, a breakout star in 2020, go down with a fracture in his throwing hand.
That typically isn't too bad, but reports say that it may require surgery. When you have surgery on your hand, you typically go down for the entire year. That made it easy for top prospect Forrest Whitley to come up and make his debut.
Unfortunately, Whitley has been injured and might need Tommy John surgery. That is almost certainly a season-ending injury, and put the Astros in a tough spot.
With nobody left to put in the rotation, the Astros have signed pitcher Jake Odorizzi to fill the void in the rotation. The deal is two years, with a salary of up to $30 million and an opt-out following the second year.
Odorizzi had a very good year in 2019, but was lackluster to say the least in 2020. In 2019 he had a 3.51 ERA, a FIP of 3.36, and a WHIP around 1.2. While he struggled in 2020, it was only a 60 game season and will look to turn things around in 2021.
Odorizzi has been quietly rumored to go to many different teams over the past few weeks, and has been the last decent player on the free agent market. The Astros have been known to turn pitchers around that have been struggling, so look for Odorizzi to be a very solid replacement in the 'stros rotation.