The Houston Astros are set to reinstate right-hander Jake Odorizzi off the injured list on Monday and give him the starting assignment in the opener of a four-game series against the visiting Kansas City Royals.
Odorizzi last pitched May 16 because of lower leg discomfort. His return will yield asix-man rotation for the Astros, with Houston manager Dusty Baker giving right-hander Justin Verlander additional rest between his previous start and his next scheduled outing in the series finale against the Royals on Thursday. Verlander threw eight scoreless innings in a win against the New York Mets last Wednesday, and his 97 1/3 innings are second on the staff to Framber Valdez (101 innings).
"We're going to back JV up because he has a lot of innings," Baker said. "We've just got to make sure that he stays healthy all the way through the season. When you're coming off Tommy John, you're still not out of the woods, but this guy has carried a lot of workload in the first half of the season. He's been remarkable up to this point. We just have to make sure that he stays fresh."
Odorizzi (3-2, 3.13 ERA) went 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA over his four starts before sustaining the injury during his start against the Red Sox on May 16 and subsequently landing on the IL. He is 3-6 with a 5.48 ERA over 15 career appearances (14 starts) against the Royals. He last faced them on Aug. 16, 2021, and did not factor into the decision of a 7-6 road loss after allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.
Rookie right-hander Jonathan Heasley (1-4, 5.20) is the scheduled starter for the Royals on Monday. He took the loss in his outing last Tuesday against the Texas Rangers as he allowed a career-high seven runs on nine hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings.
Heasley is winless over his past three starts, going 0-1 as he has given up 13 runs in 12 2/3 innings with a 9.24 ERA. He is 0-1 with a 5.01 ERA in five road starts this season.
He will make his second career start against the Astros. He was the pitcher of record in the Royals' 7-4 loss on June 5, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts over six innings.
Kansas City defeated the Detroit Tigers 7-4 on the road on Sunday to win the three-game series.
Royals right-hander Brady Singer matched his career high of nine strikeouts against the Tigers, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings. However, he did not factor into the decision after departing with the bases loaded in a 5-2 game in the bottom of the fifth inning.
"Brady had some of the best stuff we've seen from him," Royals manager Mike Matheny said. "But he had to wait 30 minutes while we were hitting in the top of the fifth and he lost his rhythm."
--Field Level Media