Still searching for left-handed bullpen help, the Astros have called up Darin Downs from AAA Oklahoma City. Downs spent the majority of the 2013 season with the Detroit Tigers. But the 29-year old has been less than stellar in 13 AAA innings so far this year.
LHP Darin Downs is with Astros today. No word on corresponding move yet.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) May 4, 2014
Downs joins fellow lefty Tony Sipp, who was signed earlier in the week, as the newest members of the Astros bullpen. To make room for Downs on the roster, Raul Valdes has been designated for assignment. Finally.
The Astros have designated LHP Raul Valdes for assignment and have recalled LHP Darin Downs from Triple A.
— Houston Astros (@astros) May 4, 2014
While Sipp has been stretched out and looks like an option against both left and right-handed batters, Downs projects as more of a left-handed specialist. Lefty hitters managed a paltry slash line of .202/.255/.293 against Darin in his two seasons in Detroit. Conversely, right-handed hitters put together a .296/.385/.496 line against him.
Downs and Sipp aren’t going to be the best left-handed relievers in the league, but should be an upgrade over what the club was getting from Valdes and Kevin Chapman. At least Bo Porter has more than one left-handed option to work with now.