Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Kendall Graveman injury: Astros reliever out for 2024 after shoulder surgery in blow to Houston’s bullpen

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The Houston Astros announced on Tuesday that right-handed reliever Kendall Graveman will miss the 2024 season after undergoing shoulder surgery last week. The Astros did not specify what kind of surgery Graveman required, but a team release noted that he experienced discomfort after beginning to throw on flat ground in preparation for spring training. 

Graveman, 33, originally started having shoulder woes late last year. He missed Houston’s entire playoff run after coming over in a deadline trade from the Chicago White Sox. Graveman did appear 23 times for the Astros during the regular season, amassing a 2.42 ERA (176 ERA+) and a 1.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 

The 2024 season is the final year remaining on his contract, meaning that he seems likely to head into free agency without throwing another pitch.

Graveman’s absence is a most unwelcome development for the Astros. Houston’s bullpen ranked sixth in ERA last season, but could be in the process of losing several notable members to free agency. Hector Neris, Phil Maton, and Ryne Stanek all remain unsigned at this point after combining to make 194 appearances for the Astros in 2023. It’s unclear if the Astros are in discussions with any of the three on a potential reunion in response to Graveman’s operation.

Houston has not made any notable external additions to its pitching staff this offseason outside of trade acquisition Dylan Coleman. (Coleman posted an 8.84 ERA in 18 innings with the Kansas City Royals.) As such, the Astros are currently projected to trot out a relief unit that hinges on mainstay veterans Ryan Pressly, Bryan Abreu, and Rafael Montero having solid years. 

Otherwise, new manager Joe Espada will be attempting to get the most from a combination of internal holdovers like Ronel Blanco, Bennett Sousa, Seth Martinez, and Parker Mushinski and waiver claims Declan Cronin and Oliver Ortega

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