Astros GM Jeff Luhnow can see a situation in which 2013 #1 draft pick Mark Appel joins the Astros in the major leagues. Via Eric Smith for the Houston Chronicle, Luhnow said, “There’s no question that with an injury (to a pitcher) or a strong year from him that he could be in Houston in 2015. Nobody wants him here more than I do and more than he does, and I hope we can make that happen.”
Obviously, Luhnow doesn’t see Appel making the rotation out of spring training, but most teams usually lose a handful of pitchers over the course of the season, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see Appel garner some second-half consideration for a promotion, and certainly by September.
Appel battled through injuries this past season, finishing with a 6.91 ERA and a 78/24 K/BB ratio in 83 1/3 innings between Single-A Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi. The right-hander has made six starts in the Arizona Fall League, compiling a 2.77 ERA and a 20/7 K/BB ratio in 26 innings.