Results tagged ‘ Sergio Escalona ’

Astros cut 10 players from Major League camp

The Astros trimmed their Spring Training roster by 10 players on Sunday morning, optioning outfielders Robbie Grossman, Jimmy Paredes, shortstop Jonathan Villar and pitchers Paul Clemens and Dallas Keuchel to Minor League camp and reassigning outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin, catcher Carlos Perez and pitchers C.J. Fick, Josh Zeid and Sergio Escalona to Minor League camp.

The moves leave the Astros with 39 players in camp two weeks shy of the March 31 season-opener against the Texas Rangers (that includes pitchers Jose Veras and Xavier Cedeno, who are competing in the World Baseball Classic).

“We open up two weeks from today, and even though it’s a long Spring Training, it feels as though it’s gone very quickly,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do here. We’ve got to get down to 25. Pitchers are going longer in games, we’ve got innings to dole out, we want to see our position players go a little deeper and have a few more at-bats as well.

“A lot of these guys we’re sending out today have a bright future in our organization, and they know they’ll be back. They need to go down and get regular work and go to their respective Minor League locations and show us what they can do. We know the 25 we start with are not the 25 we’re going to have all year.

“They’ve done, by in large, a good job and especially when you have a new staff at the big league level, it’s a clean slate for everybody. Everybody gets to know each other, and I think it’s been very good for a lot of these players to really take advantage of clean slate to go out and impress. When the time comes, our staff is not going to hesitate to want them back up here.”

Escalona to have Tommy John surgery

Astros left-handed relief pitcher Sergio Escalona was told Saturday he had a torn ligament in his left elbow and will have to undergo Tommy John surgery next week in Houston. He will miss the entire 2012 season.

Escalona, 27, appeared in 49 games for the Astros last year and went 2-1 with a 2.93 ERA as the team’s left-handed specialist out of the bullpen.

“Obviously, Sergio is an effective left-handed pitcher and we’re going to have to find someone to replace him,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “It’s definitely a setback.”

Escalona injured his elbow swinging a bat early in the spring and only pitched in two Grapefruit League games because of discomfort. An MRI taken on Escalona’s elbow Friday at Florida Hospital revealed the tear of his ulnar collateral ligament.

“They told me there were two options,” Escalona told MLB.com. “One option was shutting down half of the season and start recovering again. I didn’t want to take the chance. The thing is, they told me you can do that but if you start hurting again at the end of the season you have to take the surgery anyway. The best option is take the surgery right now and get ready for the next Spring Training. It’s going to be a long year for me doing the rehab.”

Escalona was acquired by the Astros in a trade with the Phillies on Jan. 10, 2011 and was a valuable bullpen piece.

“I thought this was going to be my year in the big leagues,” Escalona said. “You have to learn to handle things this. I’m OK with that. What can I say?”

The Astros have left-handers Wesley Wright and Fernando Abad still in camp, as well as veteran Zach Duke, who’s competing for a spot in the bullpen and in the rotation.

“This probably makes us think about Duke’s role if he doesn’t win a spot in the rotation,” Luhnow said. “[Xavier] Cedeno pitched well, even though he was re-assigned [Friday]. He’s pitched well and he’s shown he’s got some future as a lefty out of the bullpen. There are some options and we’re not panicking. We’d prefer to have a healthy Sergio on the team, but it’s not to be and we’re going to move onto plan B.”

Morning Astros update

As the Astros hit the field at rainy Osceola County Stadium, here’s a Sunday morning update from manager Brad Mills:

– Catcher Humberto Quintero (bulging disk) will catch in the bullpen Sunday for the second day in a row. Quintero caught Livan Hernandez‘s side session Saturday and felt some stiffness in his back, though it got better the longer he was out there. He will catch Sergio Escalona on Sunday and swing off a tee Monday.

– Catcher Chris Snyder is in the lineup catching consecutive games for the first time. Jason Castro will be behind the plate on Monday. Mills said the way the catching rotation was set up, Snyder was making most of the road trips and facing all the right-handed pitchers and Castro was staying in Kissimmee and facing all the left-handed pitchers. “That’s not quite how we wanted to work things out and we had to mix it up,” Mills said. “I don’t have any problem with Castro facing lefties, but we want to mix it up.”

– Left-hander Sergio Escalona (elbow) will throw his first bullpen session Sunday since being shut down for a few days with elbow problems. Escalona was very effective out of the bullpen last season for the Astros, so they would like the back issue to get resolved and get a good look at him.

– Non-roster outfielder Justin Ruggiano was back in the lineup Sunday in right after missing some time with a strained oblique. It’s the same injury that’s sidelined outfielder Travis Buck, but he’s available to play Sunday.

– Infielder Angel Sanchez (back) is scheduled to see his first action of the spring Sunday and will be in the starting lineup at second base when the Astros face the Yankees on Monday night.

– Right-hander Kyle Weiland will make his first start of the spring Monday against the Yankees in Tampa. That’s the rotation spot of Bud Norris, who will instead throw four innings/60 pitches in a simulated game. The Astros know what Norris can do, but getting a chance to see Weiland face the Yankees will be a good test for him.

Astros lineup vs. Tigers:

CF Jason Bourgeois

SS Jed Lowrie

LF J.D. Martinez

1B Carlos Lee

C Chris Snyder

DH Chris Johnson

3B Jimmy Paredes

RF Justin Ruggiano

2B Jose Altuve

LHP Wandy Rodriguez

Mills sporting a black eye and a new watch

The Astros worked out on the stadium field at the Osceola County Stadium complex for the first time Friday morning in anticipation of Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Washington Nationals.

Before the players began to stretch, manager Brad Mills addressed the team and lauded non-roster outfielder Brandon Barnes for presenting him earlier in the morning with a Transformers watch. Mills’ watch was shattered and he suffered a black eye Wednesday when a ball came through the netting behind the cage and struck him.

“That’s pretty good for a young kid to do that,” Mills said. “I told the guys if we screw up on the time today, it’s Brandon’s fault, because of the Transformers watch.”

Here’s the latest on the Astros:

  • LHP Sergio Escalona, who injured his throwing elbow swinging a bat last week, will be shut down for a few days, Mills said. Escalona had an MRI on Thursday, which showed no structural damage.
  • Mills announced the next two starters in his rotation following Livan Hernandez (Saturday), J.A. Happ (Sunday) and Jordan Lyles (Monday).  Wandy Rodriguez will start Tuesday against the Mets, and Bud Norris will start Wednesday against the Phillies in Clearwater.
  • Among the relievers scheduled to pitch behind Hernandez on Saturday are Brett Myers and Brandon Lyon, who will be pitching in a game for the first time since May. Myers will throw one inning in his debut as Astros closer (he won’t pitch the ninth, however).
  • The batting order has yet to be announced, but Mills revealed his starters for Saturday’s game against the Nats: Chris Johnson (third base), Jed Lowrie (shortstop), Jose Altuve (second base), Carlos Lee (first base), J.B. Shuck (left field), Jason Bourgeois (center field), Travis Buck (right field), Castro (catcher) and Jack Cust (DH).
  • Third baseman Jimmy Paredes, who’s nursing a sore left wrist, took batting practice left-handed Thursday, but is still not cleared to swing right from the right side of the plate.
  • Castro, who missed all of last year following knee surgery and then had foot surgery in December, will catch only three innings Saturday. Mills said he’d like Castro to catch three more innings Monday and then perhaps four on Wednesday, depending on how he feels.

Players gather to stretch on the stadium field for the first time

Escalona to undergo an MRI

Astros left-handed relief pitcher Sergio Escalona, who injured his elbow swinging a bat early in camp, will be examined by doctors today and is scheduled to undergo an MRI, manager Brad Mills said. Escalona’s elbow didn’t respond well following his live batting practice session Wednesday.

Mills also provided health updates Thursday morning on pitcher Wandy Rodriguez (back) and infielder Angel Sanchez (back).

“Escalona’s arm, after he threw yesterday, just wasn’t where he feels it needs to be and really our doctors and staff feels it needs to be,” he said. “We’re going to get him some more tests on that to see where he’s at, so he’s probably not going to throw for a while with that. Wandy’s feeling better. Sanchez is feeling better. He’s still got some issues and we’re trying to bring him along slow with his back.”

Mills also said third baseman Jimmy Paredes has been cleared to take batting practice from the left side of the plate. He’s been dealing with wrist inflammation since January.

“We’re going to have to monitor him real close,” Mills said. “He’s still a ways away.”

Escalona, Wandy battling nagging injuries

Astros left-hander Sergio Escalona, who hyper-extended his left elbow swinging a bat earlier in the week, won’t throw his scheduled bullpen session Friday, manager Brad Mills told reporters early today.

“We wanted to give it a day of rest,” Mills said. “He’s still going to go through some things on the other fields. He’s not going to throw on the other fields. He’ll do some bunting, but no hitting. As of right now, we’re not concerned about it because he didn’t hurt it while throwing.”

Also, left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who experienced tightness in his lower back while throwing Thursday, will go through all of the pitcher’s fielding and hitting drills, but the team told him to take it easy. He’s still on schedule to throw again Saturday in his last bullpen appearance before facing live hitting.

Much more to come later.

Astros catchers put on their gear after morning stretch.

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