According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, the Astros announced this morning that left-hander Sergio Escalona has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery next week.
Escalona, who was acquired from the Phillies last January, posted a 2.93 ERA and 25/11 K/BB ratio over 27 2/3 innings out of Houston’s bullpen last season. The 27-year-old held left-handed batters to a .188/.278/.313 batting line and a .590 OPS.
With Escalona sidelined, Wesley Wright and Fernando Abad will likely compete for the team’s left-handed specialist job. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow hasn’t dismissed the possibility of using non-roster invitee Zach Duke out of the bullpen if he doesn’t win a spot in the starting rotation.
Pirates center fielder Starling Marte was carted off the field during the eighth inning of Friday’s contest against the Giants. Marte was racing in to field a fly ball from Yangervis Solarte when he collided at full speed with shortstop Erik González. The two were knocked down by the impact and quickly attended to by the Pirates’ staff, who helped Marte sit up on a cart and removed him from the game.
The extent of either player’s injuries, if any, have yet to be revealed. Following the incident, both Marte and González were officially removed from the lineup, with JB Shuck shifting from left to center field, Jung Ho Kang moving over to shortstop, Colin Moran covering third base, and Jason Martin in the left field corner.
The Pirates currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the ninth.