How Houston Astros recent misfortune could ultimately be a blessing in disguise

Look at the bright side, Astros fans. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

When Houston Astros ace pitcher Justin Verlander got taken out of Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, fans felt butterflies of nerves moving around their stomach.

Since then, the news seems to be about the best-case of scenario the Astros could have hoped for. Verlander is heading to the 15-day injured list but reports expect it to be a short stint. Of course, the Astros are dealing with other injuries such as with Yordan Alvarez, Ryan Pressly and Martin Maldonaldo.

Tuesday saw a flurry of moves for the Astros to correspond with the short-handed roster. While injuries are never a good thing and always scary, there could be a silver lining among the wounded roster as the postseason nears.

Houston has roughly 30 games left in the season, of those, over half are against either the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels and the Detroit Tigers. Those teams are not exactly a gauntlet for Houston, which holds over a 10-game lead in the AL West and a four-game cushion over the New York Yankees for the best record in American League.

It is no secret that Houston’s success will be defined by what happens in October. After a run of five straight ALCS appearances, including three World Series trips, the Astros are looking to pair another world championship to the infamous 2017 title.

While the injuries, in the short term, are a bummer, and in the case of Alvarez surrounded with worry about long-term effects, Houston has put itself in a position where it can afford to allow its key players to take as much time to heal from their injuries without needing to rush.

The 2021 World Series run saw the Astros enter battle against the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves without a key weapon in pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. after he suffered an injury to his arm. If there is any chance the Astros can minimize history from repeating, they should take it.

The Astros have proven they can beat the Yankees, and anyone else in the AL, on the road and at home in 2022. In the meantime, all eyes will be on Brandon Bielak, J.J. Matijevic and especially Hunter Brown when he gets activated Thursday. A new playoff contributor could be a hot September away.

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