Darin Downs (Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports)

Darin Downs added to Astros bullpen

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.

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.


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.


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Tags: Darin Downs Houston Astros Raul Valdes

  • Leif Daddow

    Hopefully Downs and Sipp shore up the lefties. We need our right handed bullpen guys to do their jobs and be proficient. The Astros aren’t real far off of mediocraty

    • astrosince1975

      At least the club is taking a somewhat aggressive approach to solving the bullpen problems.

  • Bob Gordon

    Well, at least Darin got through his first relief appearance okay, with a bit of defensive help (Villar snagged a well-hit ball to rob Corey Hart of a single). His Detroit stats don’t scream “great reliever!”, but they’re not horrible either. No reason to think he won’t be a significant improvement to Raul Valdes.

    Speaking of which, I was surprised to see Valdes in the Saturday game (an apparent “last straw” appearance). I didn’t really pay attention, but I had assumed Valdes was gone when Sipp signed. If Darin Downs is the guy who replaced Valdes, then who came off the 25 to make room for Sipp a couple of days before? Was there an open spot already?

    • astrosince1975

      Paul Clemens was sent to AAA and Crain was moved to 60-day DL to clear a spot on the 40-man. Now that Valdes has been DFA’d that leaves an open spot on the 40-man for when Crain returns.