We know the Astros bullpen is not that good. That much is readily apparent and in fact, quite obvious.
Entering the season, the assumption was that Hector Ambriz would at worst be the 8th inning guy. At best, he was a contender for the closer’s job if not to start the season, but after the likely trade of Jose Veras.
Instead Ambriz was sent down to AAA earlier today, and Brett Oberholtzer was recalled. But that much you know. The problem though, is that Oberholtzer is a starting pitcher. What the Astros need, are more options in the bullpen who are true relievers.
Would it hurt to give Jason Stoffel a shot?
Earlier today Stoffel was named to the AAA All-Star team representing the Oklahoma City RedHawks along with Jarred Cosart. Success is not new for Stoffel, as he was named an All-Star last season as well playing in AA.
So far this season, Stoffel has pitched in 30 games logging 40.2 innings and striking out 34 batters. The reliever has a 1.77 ERA and 1.01 WHIP and has not given up more than one run in any outing. Stoffel so far this season has split his time between AA and AAA.
The 24-year old was a fourth round pick of the Giants in 2009 and has been in the Astros system since 2012. Last year Stoffel logged a 2.33 ERA and .98 WHIP in AA while pitching in 56 games, finishing 49 of them and recording 27 saves.
Now I know that minor league relievers are often times ignored and written off. In fact, the only reason why I am truly aware of Stoffel, is because made the AAA All-Star team.
However, he is a natural reliever with experience pitching in pressure situations and closing games. So why not give Stoffel a chance to see what he can do in the bullpen?