Milwaukee Brewers: Adrian Houser already behind

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(Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) /
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After undergoing an appendectomy in January, right-handed pitcher Adrian Houser is a few weeks behind the rest of the pitchers in camp. What does this mean for Houser’s chances of making the Milwaukee Brewers 25-man roster?

After a solid showing for Adrian Houser following Tommy John surgery, hopes were high. The likelihood of him landing an active roster spot are relatively slim, but it seems like he’s back to his old self. That was the thought until an unfortunate bit of news emerged Thursday. Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reported that Houser underwent an appendectomy in January. This already puts him a few weeks behind the rest of the Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff.

Adrian Houser Before the Operation

Houser began his professional career in the Houston Astros organization. He was a second-round draft pick of theirs back in 2011. He didn’t spend a lot of time with them, though. In 2015, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers along with Josh Hader, Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana in order to send Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to the Lone Star State. Since then, Houser developed primarily as a starter. His development hit a roadblock when he underwent Tommy John surgery in the second half of 2016. He managed to return to action at the tail end of 2017 and impressed many in the Arizona Fall League. Although his role moving forward is unclear, most were excited to see what he could do when healthy.

Adrian Houser After the Operation

Very little is known about the operation itself, as well as what caused it. Nonetheless, it seems like he’s back to normal now, albeit with a delayed off season throwing program. It doesn’t seem like this is something that should hinder the 25-year-old during the regular season. That said, Houser will need to perform well in Spring Training to show that he deserves a spot in the upper levels of the minor leagues.

Additionally, this setback could cause the Milwaukee Brewers to bring him along more cautiously. One safer approach to his return to action would be to have him start the season as a reliever. It might be hard to convince him that he should begin converting to the bullpen, but it may be the best for his health. Moving Houser to the bullpen could also prove to be a long-term benefit. It would likely allow him to reach the Majors sooner given the higher frequency of turnover in Big League bullpens.

Conversely, the Milwaukee Brewers could opt to just place him on the disabled list to start the year. He expects to start in the minors regardless, so this would help to get him fully healthy before returning to a starting gig. Naturally, this should all become clearer as Spring Training rolls along.

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Houser has a lot of potential, both as a starter and as a reliever. This appears to be a fairly minor setback for the pitching prospect. Look for him to be back on track fairly soon.

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