Reliever Wilton Lopez was originally diagnosed by the Astros medical staff as having neuritis in his elbow, but he sure hasn’t been pitching like it lately and so Houston will send the setup man to the doctor for some more tests. The Houston Chronicle’s Zachary Levine has the scoop:
Manager Brad Mills said the team noticed that it has been taking him longer to warm up than it did when he played his way into an eighth inning role and that his ball doesn’t have the same movement.
Those are some pretty good reasons to have your elbow checked out, methinks.
Should some desperate soul in a fantasy league be looking to find some saves and be betting against Brandon Lyon’s continued success, Mark Melancon has been pitching very well to start the year and will likely be the setup man for Lyon until Lopez is back to full health again. I’ll let you decide if that makes him a sneaky add or not.
Lopez had a 2.96 ERA last year for the Astros in 67 innings, striking out 50 and walking just five batters. If he was out for an extended period of time, the Astros’ likely replacement would be Henry Villar. Or perhaps David Purcey, if they work out a deal for him.