The Astros have called up LHP Brett Oberholtzer and sent Dallas Keuchel to AAA Oklahoma City. The recent struggles of Houston’s starting pitchers has put so much stress on the bullpen that the Astros have resorted to what some may consider extreme measures.
Oberholtzer, only 23, has gotten off to a slow start in Oklahoma City this year. He is 0-2 with 9.49 ERA and a 1.784 WHIP in three starts covering 12 & 1/3 innings. Oberholtzer, much like Keuchel, is a lefty that depends on mixing up his pitches and changing speeds, rather than trying to overpower opposing hitters.
Keuchel had a bit of a rough outing in last night’s blowout, partially due to a defensive breakdown. Keuchel threw 74 pitches in the game. Travis Blackley threw 39 pitches in his first big league appearance after a shoulder injury and Paul Clemens came out of the ‘pen later to throw 46. It would seem likely that neither of the three pitchers would be available for this afternoon’s series finale.
That opens the door for Oberholtzer. Perhaps the youngster can seize the opportunity, much like Clemens has. Brett is likely to get a chance in today’s game, especially if starter Erik Bedard pitches like he did in his last start. Bedard walked the first three batters he faced on Monday and was unable to get out of the first inning.
Welcome to the big leagues, Brett Oberholtzer. Now get out there and get some outs!