Astros' Cristian Javier to go on IL with neck discomfort

Houston Astros right-hander Cristian Javier will be placed on the 15-day injured list due to neck discomfort, manager Joe Espada told reporters Sunday.

Right-hander Spencer Arrighetti, who is 0-2 with an 11.57 ERA this season, will be recalled to take Javier's spot in the rotation, Espada said.

Espada made the announcement after Javier had been scratched from Sunday's start against the host Washington Nationals because of the ailment.

"Neck discomfort, started a few days ago," Espada said. "He tried to work through it but just couldn't happen. This kind of just came out of nowhere. So, we are going to see what happens here."

Espada said they have not decided yet on an MRI for Javier.

Right-hander Hunter Brown started in Javier's place Sunday in the rubber match of the three-game series, taking the loss as the Nationals defeated the Astros 6-0. Brown allowed three runs and three hits and a walk in the first but then settled down, lasting four innings when his pitch count reached 84. He is 0-4 with a 9.68 ERA on the season.

Javier, 27, has a 2-0 record with a 1.54 ERA while working at least five innings in all four starts this season. He has allowed no more than two earned runs in each start.

Espada said J.P. France and Justin Verlander will start in Chicago for the next series against the Cubs, but the order was not announced. Arrighetti could also get one of those spots, as could veteran left-hander Framber Valdez (left elbow inflammation), who has been throwing during the road trip.

"He just played catch right now," Espada said of Valdez on Sunday. "We will see how he feels. Once we see how he feels we will start talking about the possibilities if he can pitch in Chicago or not."

The Associated Press and Field Level Media contributed to this report.