Astros calling up pitcher Jake Bloss from Double-A to face Orioles on Friday

The Houston Astros’ starting rotation has been decimated by injuries in recent weeks. As a result, the team is dipping deep into its organizational depth for some help.

Right-hander Jake Bloss is being called up from Double-A Corpus Christi to pitch on Friday against the Baltimore Orioles. Bloss, who turns 23 on Sunday, was Houston’s third-round selection in last year’s MLB Draft out of Georgetown and has made 12 starts between high Single-A and Double-A this season.

In eight starts with Corpus Christi, Bloss had a 1.61 ERA and 3–1 record with 35 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings. He also started four games with Asheville to begin the season, compiling a 2.60 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings.

“His stuff is really, really good. A strike-thrower, upper 90s, can spin the ball,” Astros manager Joe Espada said, confirming Bloss’ promotion with MLB.com’s Casey Drottar. “All the things we hear about his makeup, he checks all the boxes… We expect him to go out there tomorrow and compete and do well.”

Facing the Orioles in his MLB debut could certainly be a “Welcome to the big leagues” moment for Bloss and his five-pitch arsenal. (He throws a cutter, curveball, slider, changeup and fastball that hits 98 mph, according to The Athletic.) Baltimore leads the American League with a .765 team OPS and tops the majors with 117 home runs.

The Astros need fresh arms for their rotation with season-ending elbow injuries to Jose Urquidy and Cristian Javier, both of whom underwent reconstructive Tommy John surgery earlier this month. Houston also placed Justin Verlander on the injured list this week with neck discomfort. Lance McCullers Jr. and Luis Garcia are also on the IL and hope to rejoin the team after the All-Star break.

Ronel Blanco (2.43 ERA) and Framber Valdez (3.91 ERA) top a now-thin starting staff including Hunter Brown and Spencer Arrighetti. (Blanco threw a no-hitter in April and pitched seven no-hit innings last week.) Bloss fills the fifth spot in the rotation on Friday and figures to stick around if he pitches well.