Astros calling up top pitching prospect for Wed. debut after 10-inning loss

April 10th, 2024

KANSAS CITY -- With a 4-8 record and a slew of pitching injuries, the Astros are going into an aggressive mode as they strive for both short-term and long-term success.

Manager Joe Espada confirmed after Houston’s 4-3 loss to the Royals Tuesday night in 10 innings at Kauffman Stadium that the club's top pitching prospect, Spencer Arrighetti, will come up and make his Major League debut on Wednesday.

“He’s going to be starting the game [Wednesday],” Espada said. “We want to make sure we protect some of these guys. Having Arrighetti here will allow us to push everyone back a day and protect our young starters. We’re going to need them for a long season.”

With left-hander Framber Valdez going on the injured list, Espada had said in his pregame media session that the plan was to keep the rotation intact with Hunter Brown scheduled to get the start on Wednesday. But the Astros ultimately decided to summon Arrighetti.

Arrighetti had a 2.16 ERA through his first two starts for Triple-A Sugar Land. He was selected as the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2023. Espada said Brown will be pushed back to Thursday and J.P. France will go on Friday.

Against Royals’ starter Cole Ragans, the Astros racked up 10 hits in the opening four innings, but managed just three runs over that span while leaving eight on base.

Those missed opportunities came back to haunt the Astros as Kansas City tied the game against Houston starter Cristian Javier in the fifth and then won it on Salvador Perez’s walk-off single off Wander Suero in the 10th.

“We had some opportunities to get guys in and we couldn’t capitalize,” Espada said. “Javier threw the ball really well and gave us a chance to win. We just couldn’t finish it up.”

The Astros had an opportunity to take the lead in the 10th when, with a runner at second, Jeremy Peña drilled a ball toward the hole on the left side. But Royals’ shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. dove and kept the ball from rolling into the outfield. Peña wound up with an infield hit to put runners at first and third, but the Astros stranded those runners -- which was symbolic of their night.

“I didn’t quite square it up,” Peña said. “I thought it had a chance to go through, but shoutout to Bobby Witt.”

Josh Hader pitched a clean ninth to force extra innings, but Suero quickly gave up the winning hit to Perez.

“There were moments where we didn’t get the clutch hit,” Peña said. “We’ll turn the page and get ready for tomorrow. It’s a matter of timely hitting. We’re doing a great job of getting people on.”