Astros’ Framber Valdez lands on IL with elbow issue as troubling MLB trend continues

Another MLB ace is headed to the injured list with an elbow issue. 

Astros starter Framber Valdez was placed on the 15-day IL with elbow inflammation ahead of Houston’s game against the Royals on Tuesday.

Astros manager Joe Espada told reporters that the lefty won’t throw for the next one to two days before being reassessed. 

Starting pitcher Framber Valdez #59 of the Houston Astros looks on prior to the start of the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park on April 02, 2024 in Houston, Texas.
Astros starter Framber Valdez looks on prior to the start of the seventh inning during a game against the Blue Jays earlier in the season. Getty Images

The IL move is retroactive to April 6.

The two-time All-Star is “going to need some time to recover,” Espada explained, according to The Athletic, and the Astros skipper expressed some hope that he would only be out for “maybe two starts.”

Espada didn’t provide much more specifics, and Valdez was not with the team in Kansas City after he was scratched from his start Monday night against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas. 

Valdez, 30, was back in Houston on Monday seeing team doctors, The Athletic reported, and on Tuesday, Espada said that he hadn’t received “any news” in regards to Valdez’s ulnar collateral ligament of his left elbow. 

The injury news comes amid growing concern over the increasing number of arm injuries suffered by pitchers this season, with the MLB Players Association pointing to the pitch clock as a main culprit of the epidemic. 

Among some of MLB’s big-name pitchers to fall victim to arm injuries already in 2024 are Shane Bieber, Eury Perez, Jonathan Loáisiga and Spencer Strider

The MLBPA and MLB traded barbs over where the blame lies, and Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, who has been sidelined by an elbow injury of his own, said Monday that he was “frustrated” with the situation. 

“I’m just frustrated by the fact that I don’t feel like the players are the main focus, and taking care of players is the main focus,” Cole said.

Framber Valdez
Framber Valdez is a two-time All-Star for the Astros. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

The Astros have struggled out of the gate with a 4-7 record and already are without another one of their aces, Justin Verlander, due to shoulder inflammation.  

The club is also without pitchers José Urquidy, Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr.

The Astros are promoting pitching prospect Spencer Arrighetti and plan to start him on Wednesday for his major league debut, The Athletic reported.

Valdez has pitched 12 ⅓ innings with a 2.19 ERA through his first two starts of the season. 


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