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Cristian Javier, Jose Urquidy out for season

Cristian Javier, Jose Urquidy set for elbow surgeries

As the Astros scramble back into contention, they endured a major setback with the starting rotation. Right handers Jose Urquidy and Cristian Javier will require season-ending elbow surgery. 

The pitching duo were a major key to the Astros’ postseason success and seven straight American League Championship Series appearances. Urquidy is the only Mexican pitcher to collect three wins in the World Series, starting two of them. He holds a 3-0 record and 1.23 ERA in five World Series games. 

Javier, 27, has replicated Urquidy’s postseason success. In 2022, Javier led a combined no-hitter in Game 4 of the World Series. The superb outing he pitched along with Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly was only the second World Series no-hitter in major league history.

’It sucks’

“It sucks. It just sucks,” Astros manager Joe Espada said. “What Javier and Urquidy mean to this team and organization, what they have done and accomplished, it sucks to see them go down.”

Javier, who is in the second year of his 5-year $64 million contract extension, is in good spirits after receiving a second opinion on his elbow. While the Astros have not specified if it is indeed Tommy John surgery for both men yet, the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, native is scheduled to have surgery Thursday. 

The 6-foot-1 fireballer has seen his velocity dip on his fastball. Javier’s heater averaged 94 mph in 2022. His fastball average fell to 91 mph in 2024. Javier was even down to 89 mph on a few fastballs this season. 

Seeing the success that former pitchers like Justin Verlander have had after elbow surgery, Javier is hoping for a similar result.

“I think Javier was in a decent mode,” Astros general manager Dana Brown said. “I think he felt like he was losing his velocity on his fastball. Now knowing that he is going to get fixed and potentially being back here at the end of next July or so, I think there is some relief.” 

For Urquidy there is a feeling of devastation and uncertainty. The native of Mazatlan, Mexico, is having surgery today, marking his second major elbow surgery. Urquidy had Tommy John surgery in 2017. He then made his major league debut in 2019.

Jose Urquidy set for second surgery

Urquidy was close to making his season debut after recovering from a right forearm strain he suffered early in spring training. In what was expected to be his last rehab start before joining the big league club, Jose Urquidy re-injured his forearm in the fourth inning in Sugar Land. 

The Mexican right hander has dealt with a plethora of injuries throughout his career. He was out last season for three months after dealing with right shoulder discomfort. That was the same injury that put him out for weeks in 2021. 

His future with the Astros is uncertain. It appears as though Urquidy will not pitch until July of next year, at the earliest. In 2025, he will be in his final year of arbitration before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

It’s unclear if the Astros will tender Urquidy a contract for next year in the offseason.

“Urquidy is a battler,” Brown said. “Of course, he is disappointed, but he’ll get through it.”

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