Report: Astros starter Cristian Javier to undergo Tommy John surgery in another blow to Houston's rotation

Cristian Javier's season is reportedly over. (Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Cristian Javier's season is reportedly over. (Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Houston Astros starting pitcher Cristian Javier is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday, The Athletic's Chandler Rome reports.

The Astros announced on Wednesday that Javier and fellow starter José Urquidy will both undergo right elbow surgery and will miss the remainder of the 2024 season. The team did not specify whether the surgery is Tommy John.

The Astros placed Javier on the injured list on May 27 due to forearm discomfort. He hasn't pitched since. Manager Joe Espada told reporters Monday that Javier was waiting to hear back from a doctor regarding a second opinion. Espada previously told reporters that Javier was scheduled to undergo imaging, the results of which were not made public.

Per Rome, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith Meister recommended that Javier undergo Tommy John surgery.

Javier's placement on the injured list in May was his second of the season. Houston previously scratched him from a scheduled April 21 start and placed him on the 15-day IL. Prior to that IL stint, Javier was dominant in four starts. In 23 1/3 innings that included two shutouts, Javier posted a 1.54 ERA with 18 strikeouts.

He allowed seven earned runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Detroit Tigers in his May 11 return from the IL. He then pitched six shutout innings in a start against the Oakland A's before allowing four earned runs in four innings in a May 21 start against the Los Angeles Angels. He was placed on the IL for a second time six days later and hasn't pitched since.

Javier has developed into a key member of Houston's rotation since debuting with the team in 2020. He started six innings of a combined no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4 of the 2022 World Series. He also pitched 5 1/3 shutout inning in a 1-0 ALCS win over the New York Yankees in 2022. Javier finished that postseason with a 0.71 ERA, allowing a single earned run in two starts and a relief appearance.

In seven starts this season, Javier had a 3.89 ERA with 27 strikeouts and 19 walks allowed in 34 2/3 innings pitched.

The news of Javier's pending procedure arrives a day after ESPN reported that Astros starter Jose Urquidy is expected to require Tommy John surgery. Urquidy hasn't pitched for Houston this season after suffering a forearm strain in spring training.

Starter Lance McCullers Jr. hasn't pitched since undergoing surgery last June to remove bone spurs and repair the flexor tendon in his throwing arm. It's not yet clear when he'll be able to return.

The Astros entered Tuesday at 27-34, seven games behind the Seattle Mariners in the AL West.