Astros southpaw Framber Valdez hasn’t pitched in the majors this season on account of a broken finger, though he did return to throwing from flat ground Thursday, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. While general manager James Click called Thursday’s session a “tremendous step forward” for Valdez, there still isn’t a clear timetable for a potential 2021 debut. Valdez broke out last season with 70 2/3 innings of 3.57 ERA/3.23 SIERA ball, an elite 60 percent groundball rate, and terrific strikeout and walk percentages of 26.4 and 5.6, respectively.
- Astros reliever Enoli Paredes left their game Thursday with a trainer, Rome tweets. The righty exited after throwing just three strikes out of 13 pitches and walking the only two batters he faced. Control has been a problem in all three appearances this year for Paredes, who has walked six hitters in 1 1/3 innings. Paredes also put up a below-average walk rate of 12.2 percent in his rookie year in 2020, but he still notched a 3.05 ERA (with a much less inspiring 4.63 SIERA) over 20 2/3 frames. [UPDATE: Paredes “did something to his side,” manager Dusty Baker said (via Rome). The Astros should know more Friday.]