Jordan Lyles was called up to replace an injured Wandy Rodriguez in late May and has struck in the Astros’ rotation, but the 20-year-old’s workload figures to be limited down the stretch.
Brad Mills told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com that Lyles likely won’t be allowed to throw more than 165-170 total innings this season between the minors and majors, as the Astros want to avoid a workload increase of more than 15-20 innings compared to last season.
Lyle has already throw 106 innings heading into today’s start against the Nationals, so if the Astros stick to their plan he has about 10 more starts left this season. Under the normal rotation schedule Lyles would make another 13-14 starts, so somewhere along the line he’ll have to be skipped a few times or removed from the rotation altogether in September.
By that point the only drama remaining in Houston’s season will be trying to avoid 100 (or maybe 110) losses, so the long-term health of a 20-year-old should certainly take precedence over winning a few more games.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”