HOUSTON -- Corbin Martin is in for a long recovery following Wednesday’s successful Tommy John surgery and could be out for a majority of the 2020 season as well. The right-hander, ranked as Houston's No. 4 prospect, made five Major League starts this season before being sent to Triple-A Round Rock and then shut down with elbow issues.
“I care about the player,” manager AJ Hinch said on Friday prior to the opener of a three-game series against the Angels at Minute Maid Park. “We can talk all you want about the depth and how important he is to the organization, and what it does to our pitching.
“But the reality is, we need to focus on him. This is a tough injury and one we know all too well with [Lance McCullers Jr.], watching him go through rehab every day.”
McCullers will miss the entire 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on Nov. 6, 2018.
“It seems like it’s becoming a common injury to pitchers,” Hinch said. “It’s an unfortunate injury with the time [off] and the rehab that goes into it. I feel for [Martin], because his career is affected by that injury.”
In his five starts with the Astros, the 23-year-old Martin went 1-1 with a 5.59 ERA over 19 1/3 innings, with 19 strikeouts and 12 walks. He is still a big part of the Astros’ future, but his timetable to make a contribution in the Major Leagues has been altered following the surgery.
“It’s a long process, and every injury is different,” Hinch said. “This one for a pitcher is the one that’s the most difficult, just because of the deliberate rehab that comes with it and how long it takes for you to feel right again.
“It’s a step-by-step process. There’s no shortcut, no way around it. I know Corbin will follow protocol and follow our rehab and get right again.”