AL West Notes: Tucker, Verlander, Bloss, Wu, Jung

Astros Manager Joe Espada provided a disappointing, if not entirely surprising, injury update regarding his two biggest stars. Speaking to reporters (including Matt Kawahara of the Houston Chronicle) ahead of today's contest in Toronto, the captain admitted that neither of them is injured. kyle tucker and no more Justin Verlander He is expected to return from the IL before the All-Star break.

Tucker hasn't played since June 3 because of an injury to his right foot, which he suffered when he fouled a ball off his foot. In mid-June, Espada suggested that Tucker would likely need a minor league rehab assignment. With the All-Star break approaching and the outfielder having not yet started any work on the field (according to Kawahara), it's hard to imagine he'll be back before the break. The Astros would certainly like to have Tucker back as soon as possible, but they have played surprisingly well in the absence of their best hitter. Making sure he's healthy for the stretch run is more important than getting him back in July.

Meanwhile, Verlander hasn't pitched since June 9; he's dealing with neck trouble. He's progressing well, but Espada says the future Hall of Famer hasn't regained his pitching ability yet. Once again, the Astros could certainly use the veteran in their injury-plagued rotation sooner rather than later, but bringing him back would be a short-sighted move with so much of the season still left.

Another interesting thing about Verlander: As Kawahara noted, it's now highly unlikely that his conditional $35MM player option for 2025 will be activated. Even if the 41-year-old returns immediately after the All-Star break and pitches once every five games for the remainder of the season, he'll have to average 6 1/3 innings per start to reach the required 140 innings.

Lastly, Espada also mentioned that the rookie Jake Bloss He will begin rehab this weekend. Barring any setbacks, the young right-hander could make his next start in Houston. Bloss, 23, is generally regarded as one of the Astros' better pitching prospects. He landed on the IL with shoulder soreness on June 21, the same day he made his MLB debut.

More injury updates from the AL West:

  • Rangers Manager Bruce Bochy gave an update to reporters Josh JungJoe has been on the IL for nearly the entire season. The All-Star third baseman fractured his wrist on a hit-by-pitch on April 1. Jung has been dealing with discomfort in his injured wrist recently and hasn’t swung a bat since his last rehab game on June 20 (according to Kennedy Landry of However, he has no further structural damage. The Rangers are going to shut him down completely for another week, after which they hope he’ll be able to resume his rehab assignment (according to Jeff Wilson of Rangers Today). Needless to say, that means Jung won’t be ready to return to Arlington before the All-Star break.
  • The more positive news is that The Mariners are not willing to rule out the possibility that Brianne Wu He could be back in their rotation before the Midsummer Classic. He threw a successful bullpen session on Wednesday (according to's Daniel Kremer) and will make a rehab start this weekend. If all goes well in that outing, there's a chance he could make his next start for Seattle. The 24-year-old Woo has performed exceptionally well in his second season, with a 1.77 ERA in eight starts. Not all of his underlying numbers are as appealing (4.01 SIERA, 3.96 xFIP), but there's no doubt the Mariners will want to get the young ballplayer back as soon as possible so they can see what he's capable of.

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