Mar 28, 2013; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros closing pitcher Jason Stoffel (83) and catcher Jason Jaramillo (6) celebrate after defeating the Detroit Tigers 11-4 at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Minor League Stat of the Week- A Look at Jason Stoffel

I am going to first begin under the assumption that you have never heard of Jason Stoffel. And to be honest, that is perfectly alright. Minor league relievers who were not high draft picks generally are not well known.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

However, that does not mean we should completely ignore them. By no means am I going to suggest that Stoffel could have been the savior the Astros were looking for in their bullpen. To be perfectly honest, it is very possible that he could have been called up to Houston and failed. But, there is no way of knowing this without giving Stoffel a chance at the major league level.

While the Astros bullpen floundered, Stoffel had a pretty good season in AAA for Oklahoma City. Let’s take a look at his stat line:

62.1 innings. 44 games, 8-1, 3.47 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 51 strikeouts  

This is not lights out by any means, but it is pretty good. The year before, Stoffel saved 27 games in AA for Corpus Christi. For most of the season, the Astros were just taking any arms they could find and putting them in the bullpen. Aside from the fact that Stoffel is a right hander, I certainly would have preferred seeing him as opposed to Wade Leblanc. And did we really need to see that much of Hector Ambriz? Perhaps Stoffel could have gotten some key outs for the Astros out of the bullpen this season.

I do understand the logic in keeping Stoffel with Oklahoma City through their playoff run, but once that was completed Stoffel deserved a shot in the major leagues. As we begin to think about the 2014 season, it wouldn’t have hurt to give him a chance to prove himself.

Now there is the variable of Stoffel not being on the 40-man roster, but there are enough expendable pieces that could have been moved around to make that work.

As the Astros essentially build a bullpen from scratch, they cannot afford to leave any stones unturned.

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  • † ⚾ Mundo ⚾ †

    Actually yes I have heard of Stoffel – acquired from SF in the Keppinger deal. He was a minor league All Star this year as well. If I had to guess I would say by not adding him to the 40 man Luhnow probably figures his chance of being snagged in the Rule V is remote. It seems we will have a TON of prospects eligible for it so I am sure he is trying to minimize the damage as much as possible. If he were to add to the 40 man now and then DFA then good chance he’d lose him.

    Another thought is it seems to me Luhnow is not very fond of minor league relievers. It seems he tends to prefer failed starters for MLB relief roles which I can’t really fault him for. Many of the best relievers in history were starters in the minors (Lidge, Wags, Papelbon, Rivera).

    • Ray_Kuhn_28

      Yeah I am thinking the 40 man had to have had something to do with it. But at this point, there are enough expendable pieces that I’m not sure that should be an issue., but it is very possible.

      I like your second point, and then goes to whole case of moving Lyles to the bullpen

      • † ⚾ Mundo ⚾ †

        Yes I’m sure Lyles and possibly another member of the current rotation could end up in the bullpen. I still like the idea of Peacock as a closer just because I’ve already got his entrance planned: play a clip of Mark Wahlberg’s famous line from The Other Guys, “I’m a peacock, you gotta let me FLY!” and then show this awesome CGI orange and blue peacock flying. Free Bird is a song possibility although I’m sure he’d like to pick his own.

        • Ray_Kuhn_28

          I thought that also with Peacock at first, but I think he still has some potential as a starter. But either either way, I like both of those entrance options.