The Astros have one of their best pitchers back from the injured list. Barely four weeks after Ryan Pressly underwent an arthroscopic knee procedure, he’s been reinstated from the IL, the team announced. A four- to six-week timeline was projected at the time of the surgery.
Pressly, 30, returns to the ’Stros with enough time left on the calendar to get into a few games as a tuneup for the postseason. He’ll rejoin a bullpen that is currently without teammates Brad Peacock and Collin McHugh, each of whom remains on the injured list. McHugh’s throwing program was recently shut down due to renewed elbow discomfort, while Peacock is trying to work back from shoulder trouble that has hindered him throughout the season.
Given those injuries, a healthy Pressly is all the more important. Since being acquired from the Twins at the 2018 trade deadline, he’s morphed from an above-average reliever to a virtual juggernaut, pitching 78 2/3 innings of 1.94 ERA ball with 104 strikeouts against 17 walks between the regular season and last year’s playoff run. Pressly made his first All-Star team in 2019, and he’s currently tied with Sergio Romo for the MLB lead among qualified relievers in terms of opponents’ chase rate (40.9 percent) while sitting 11th in swinging-strike rate (17.3 percent).
Pressly would’ve been a free agent following the 2019 season were it not for the two-year, $17.5MM contract extension he signed prior to Opening Day. The Astros now control him for both the 2020 and 2021 seasons, and his deal also includes a vesting/club option for the 2022 campaign as well.