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Oliver Ortega To Miss Three To Four Months After Undergoing Elbow Surgery

Oliver Ortega To Miss Three To Four Months After Undergoing Elbow Surgery

The Astros announced to the beat, including Matt Kawahara of the Houston Chronicle, that right-hander Oliver Ortega had surgery to remove loose bodies from his elbow and will be shut down for three to four months.

Ortega, 27, was claimed off waivers from the Twins in October. He stuck on Houston’s roster all winter and made two appearances for them this spring. But manager Joe Espada announced a couple of days ago that the righty would be going to see a doctor, per Brian McTaggart of It seems the doctor determined surgery was necessary and that Ortega will be out of action for roughly half the season, at least.

The righty has 58 innings of big league experience between the Angels and Twins, with a 4.03 earned run average in that time. He has averaged between 95 and 97 miles per hour with both his four-seam fastball and his sinker but hasn’t translated that into big strikeout numbers in the majors, as he has punched out just 20.4% of major league hitters faced while walking 10.8%.

He’s generally been able to sit down more batters in the minors. He tossed 34 2/3 innings at Triple-A last year with a 1.82 ERA, 32.6% strikeout rate and 7.4% walk rate. He still has an option so the Astros were likely hoping for him to serve as a lively depth arm who could be summoned to the majors when needed throughout the season. Unfortunately, he will now have to sit out a decent portion of the upcoming campaign.

The club will likely put Ortega on the 60-day injured list when they need a roster spot, but they also have several other candidates for such a move. Kendall Graveman is going to miss the entire 2024 season due to shoulder surgery while both Lance McCullers Jr. and Luis García Jr. are targeting midseason returns after they each underwent elbow surgery last year.

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