HOUSTON – The push for a starting pitcher may have gotten more desperate Friday for the Houston Astros, as general manager Jeff Luhnow confirmed to reporters that pitching prospect Corbin Martin underwent Tommy John surgery Wednesday.
Martin is likely to miss the rest of this season, as well as a significant portion of next season.
Martin is one of the Astros’ top pitching prospects and started five games for Houston, going 1-1 with a 5.59 ERA.
Martin is currently ranked as the No. 4 prospect in the Astros system by MLB.com and No. 48 overall in baseball.
The Astros are reportedly interested in various pitchers as the trade deadline nears, including Detroit Tigers starter Matthew Boyd, according to a report from MLB.com. Boyd has a 6-6 record with a 3.87 ERA in 18 starts for Detroit, with 142 strikeouts in 107 innings.
Houston is also reportedly looking at Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman (5-9, 3.18 ERA, 81 K in 104.2 IP). While not yet linked to the Astros, starting pitchers Madison Bumgarner, of the San Francisco Giants, and Zack Wheeler, of the New York Mets, are also likely to be available at the deadline.
Houston currently has three reliable starting pitchers in Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley. Verlander and Cole are All-Stars, while Miley is 7-4 with a 3.28 ERA with 86 K in 101.2 innings. The back end of the rotation is where Houston is currently struggling, going into the All-Star break with uncertainty in two spots.
The Astros called up prospect Jose Urquidy to start Tuesday. Urquidy lasted just 3.2 innings in his debut at Colorado but has been strong at the AAA-level in Round Rock (3-1 2.89 ERA, 64 K in 43.2 innings).
The Astros start a series at home Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels, sending Justin Verlander to the mound Friday, Cole on Saturday and Urquidy getting his second start Sunday.