July 19, 2024

Astros’ J.P. France to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery

HOUSTON — Astros starter J.P. France will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery Monday, his agent announced, dealing another blow to the club’s cratering pitching depth.

France’s agent, Nate Heisler, said Dr. Keith Meister would operate, but did not specify the type of procedure. Other than to confirm France will undergo surgery, the Astros provided no additional information.

France opened the season in Houston’s major-league rotation and made five starts before being demoted to Triple-A Sugar Land on April 25. France landed on the minor-league injured list in early May with what manager Joe Espada described as “right shoulder soreness.”

France experienced a shoulder problem in spring training, too, but recovered in time to make the club’s Opening Day roster. General manager Dana Brown later acknowledged that the team rushed France back to compensate for other injuries in the rotation.

“When he got hurt in spring training and he felt the discomfort, we were really pressing to get him back and maybe we may have rushed him a little bit,” Brown told the team’s pregame show on May 26. “Especially with (Justin) Verlander being out at the same time, we were trying to really plug holes in this rotation. He felt pretty good and so we pressed him a little bit and he tried to pitch through it. I think this time we’re probably going to be more patient.”

France’s procedure will be the third season-ending surgery for a starting pitcher on the Astros’ 40-man roster this season. Both José Urquidy and Cristian Javier underwent Tommy John surgery in late May. Verlander (neck) and Jake Bloss (shoulder) remain on the injured list with what are believed to be shorter-term injuries.

As a result, Houston has four healthy starters on its 40-man roster: Framber Valdez, Spencer Arrighetti, Hunter Brown and Ronel Blanco.

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(Photo: Jamie Sabau / Getty Images)