Another day, another bullpen arm added to the Astros roster. After calling up Jorge De Leon prior to yesterday’s game with the Red Sox, the Astros have now added another new reliever to their roster. Lefty Kevin Chapman has been summoned from AAA Oklahoma City and will join the team tomorrow in Houston.
Chapman, who has posted a stellar eleven strikeouts per nine innings in 148 minor league relief appearances, will replace fellow lefty Travis Blackley in the Astros ‘pen. Blackley will be designated for assignment and his days in an Astros uniform appear to be over. Blackley, who was acquired from Oakland this spring in exchange for Jake Goebbert, struggled through most of the season. Two numbers that spelled the end for the native of Australia were his 5.1 walks and 2.7 homers per nine innings. (Not exactly what I would call Aussie-awesome)
Kevin Chapman (Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports)
Chapman, 25, joins rookies Josh Fields, Chia-Jen Lo, Josh Zeid, and De Leon in the Astros new look bullpen. Neither of the five hurlers had ever appeared in a big league game prior to this season. Chapman and De Leon are now next in line to get their feet wet in the majors.
The worst bullpen in the league is finally in the midst of a much needed makeover. Expect all of these guys to get a good long look over the next two months. Hopefully a few of them will make the grade and become key players for the Astros’ future.