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Astros top pitching prospect Spencer Arrighetti set to make MLB debut against Royals

 The Associated Press  |    Apr 10th, 2024 6:43pm EDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Houston Astros top pitching prospect, Spencer Arrighetti, will make his major league debut Wednesday night against the Kansas City Royals.

Arrighetti, a 24-year-old right-hander, was called up from Triple-A Sugar Land. The Astros optioned RHP Wander Suero to Sugar Land to make room for Arrighetti.

“He had a big smile,” Houston manager Joe Espada said of Arrighetti. “He’s excited about the day, and I’m looking forward for him to have a good start.

“We’ve seen the increase in velo the last year or two. And when he executes his pitches, he can work both sides of the plate. And if he does that, he will be he’ll be in good shape”

Arrighetti was the Astros’ minor league pitcher of the year in 2023. He went 9-7 with a 4.40 ERA through 124 2/3 innings in 28 appearances, including 21 starts. He recorded 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings and a 2.39 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

So far this season in Triple-A, Arrighetti struck out 10 batters in 8 1/3 innings in two starts. He allowed two runs on seven hits with seven walks.

Espada is not concerned Arrighetti will be too amped to control his pitches.

“Knowing that you belong is very important,” Espada said. “I think he knows he belongs. (He’ll) not try to do too much, stay calm, let your defense help you out, execute your pitches and trust the plan. I think he’s capable of doing those things.”

Arrighetti’s four-seam fastball averages in the mid-90s. He has a sweeper-slider in the low-80s and a curveball in the mid-70s. He did not speak tot he media before Wednesday’s start.

“I think that the cutter usually performs a little better to lefties,” Arrighetti was quoted as telling the Houston Chronicle in spring training. “I’ve also found that it does perform with righties as well. The other day, I threw (it to) quite a few righties and struck a guy out with one. I think that the sweeper is going to perform really well against righties. When I’m throwing it well, that’s probably my best offering.

“Anything that moves right to left is my bread and butter. It’s just really easy for me to repeat the shape and repeat the location.”

Arrighetti is likely on a pitch count of 80-85 pitches. He hasn’t gone over that amount this season.

“It’d be great if he gets up to that many pitches,” Espada said.


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