It hasn't been an ideal start for the Houston Astros, who now hold a 4-8 record and are tied with the Seattle Mariners at the bottom of the AL West. The team has been dealing with several injuries, one of which involves Framber Valdez. Due to elbow soreness, the left-handed pitcher has been placed on a 15-day injury leave. Without the services of Valdez and Justin Verlander, the Astros have been experimenting with different starters on the mound. For their upcoming game, Houston will be promoting their top pitching prospect, Spencer Arrighetti.

Arrighetti will make his MLB debut on Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals, per The Athletic's Chandler Rome and Ken Rosenthal. The right-hander posted a 4.40 ERA and struck out 141 batters in 124.2 minor league innings pitched last season (Triple-A and Double-A combined). The Astros named Arrighetti the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2023. In his first two starts for Sugar Land this year, Arrighetti tallied 10 strikeouts along with a 2.16 ERA.

“He’s going to be starting the game (on Wednesday),” team manager Joe Espada said, per MLB's Robert Falkoff. “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.”

The Astros, along with other teams, face a wave of pitcher injuries

Houston Astros catcher Yainer Diaz (21) and second baseman Jose Altuve (27) and right fielder Kyle Tucker (30) and shortstop Jeremy Pena (3) and center fielder Jake Meyers (6) celebrate after the Astros defeat the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

As for the Astros, Spencer Arrighetti's debut comes amid a slew of injuries within Houston's pitching rotation. Besides Verlander and Valdez, Jose Urquidy, Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr. have also been placed on ILs. And it's not just the Astros who are experiencing health issues with their hurlers. Throughout the league, there's been an ongoing outbreak of pitcher injuries.

Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Guardians and Eury Perez of the Miami Marlins are both scheduled for Tommy John surgery while Oakland Athletics' Trevor Gott just finished undergoing the said procedure. New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole has been out due to nerve inflammation in his elbow while Atlanta Braves rising star Spencer Strider is having his elbow evaluated further due to UCL damage.

Verlander recently shared his thoughts on what he describes as a “pandemic” of pitcher injuries.

“I think the game has changed a lot,” Verlander said, KPRC2's Ari Alexander. “I think it would be easiest to blame the pitch clock. In reality, you put everything together and everything has a little bit of influence. I think the biggest thing is that the style of pitching has changed so much. Everyone is throwing the ball as hard as they possibly can and spinning the ball as hard as they possibly can.”

“It's hard to deny those results obviously…it's a double-edged sword. How can you tell somebody to not do that when they're capable of throwing a hundred (mph)? Something needs to change,” he added.

As the MLB implements a study to find a solution to the league-wide ordeal, the Astros have to continue weathering the storm for now.