David Paulino headed from one list to another on Sunday. Neither portends good things, but his organization hopes brighter days are ahead in 2018.
The Astros' No. 6 prospect underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow on Friday in Houston. As a result, the right-handed pitcher was moved to the 60-day disabled list from the suspension list, where he'd been since July 1 due to a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance.
"It was an awkward timeline for him not being healthy and having one day left in the season [that] he was going to be eligible," Astros manager A.J. Hinch told MLB.com. "He'll rehab over the winter."
Paulino made nine combined starts in 2017 between Triple-A Fresno and Houston. With the Grizzlies, the 23-year-old went 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 14 innings, all in May. After jumping to the Astros, Paulino took the ball six times from May 31 to June 28 and found mixed results. The righty posted a 6.52 ERA and allowed a .300 opponent average but registered a 2-0 record and 34 strikeouts against seven walks in 29 innings.
In July, Paulino was suspended 80 games without pay for testing positive for Boldenone, a violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. He was eligible to come off the suspension Friday.
Paulino was also suspended last season while with Double-A Corpus Christi for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Following the 2016 campaign, he was MLB Pipeline's No. 70 overall prospect and Houston's No. 4.
The Astros expect the right-hander to be ready for Spring Training next year.