Urquidy, Javier undergo Tommy John, out for remainder of '24

June 7th, 2024

ANAHEIM -- Astros starting pitchers and both underwent Tommy John surgery this week and will miss the rest of the season, the team announced on Friday. Urquidy had surgery on Wednesday, Javier on Thursday.

Earlier this week, general manager Dana Brown said the pair was set to have elbow surgery, but the exact procedure wasn’t known until Friday. Tommy John typically has a recovery period of at least a year; the Astros said both will return during the 2025 season.

Urquidy, who underwent Tommy John surgery as a Minor Leaguer in 2017, has been on the injured list since suffering a right forearm strain during Spring Training. He made three rehab starts in his effort to rejoin the Astros, but he was pulled from his most recent outing at Triple-A on May 24 after experiencing discomfort in the forearm.

Javier made seven starts and pitched to a 3.89 ERA across 34 2/3 innings this season before he was placed on the injured list on May 27 due to right forearm discomfort.

“It sucks,” manager Joe Espada said earlier this week. “I told them they’re in my prayers and how much they mean to this club [and] to me personally as individuals. They're two incredible humans. I wish them the best.”

The loss of Urquidy and Javier further dilutes the Astros’ thin pitching depth, though Luis Garcia could return from his Tommy John surgery next month. Lance McCullers should return a few weeks after that.

“These injuries, they happen,” Brown said earlier this week. “These guys have pitched a lot, and I've been saying for a long time -- the 97 extra games from these last seven years, going to the [ALCS] seven times, at some point it takes its toll on your players.”

The Astros’ five-man rotation -- Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, Ronel Blanco, Hunter Brown and Spencer Arrighetti -- represents their only healthy starters on the 40-man roster with substantial Major League experience.

Brown noted that the rotation has stabilized over the past few weeks, and he’s encouraged by the gradual improvement, especially from the young pitchers who have gained their footing after a bumpy start to the season.

“We have the young kids stepping up and starting to throw the ball well, so I think our rotation is pretty good right now,” Brown said. “You never want to lose those types of arms. But there's no panic, because our guys are really throwing well.”