Spring Training Update: Houston Astros Bullpen

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The Houston Astros bullpen is down to two remaining spots. According to Brian McTaggart, manager A.J. Hinch said this weekend that left-handed reliever Tony Sipp made the club. Josh Fields, Pat Neshek, Luke Gregerson, and Chad Qualls have already made the roster.

That leaves one spot open for another lefty and one spot open for another righty in the seven-man bullpen.

For the lefties, the final spot is being fought over by Kevin Chapman, Joe Thatcher, and Darin Downs. Here’s how they’ve done so far during Spring Training (prior to today’s games):

It looks like a close race between Chapman and Thatcher. Thatcher is more experienced, with eight MLB seasons compared to Chapman’s two. Chapman is the less-expensive option.

During today’s game versus the Washington Nationals, Chapman was credited with the loss after giving up one earned run on two hits. He also had two strikeouts and a walk. Downs also pitched one inning that game, allowing no runs, giving up a hit and a walk, with two strikeouts.

As for the other spot, you have Will Harris, Sam Deduno, Jake Buchanan, and Alex White trying to get it. Here’s how their Spring Training is going so far (prior to today’s games):

Buchanan, Deduno, and Harris have done pretty well. White has had limited opportunities to prove himself, and is considered a long shot to make the team.

Deduno pitched three scoreless innings today versus the Nats, giving up four hits and a walk with three strikeouts. The 31-yr old is also in competition for a spot in the rotation. Buchanan pitched two scoreless innings today against the Braves with one strikeout.

There are still 14 games remaining before the end of Spring Training. These final two selections will be a tough call.

Next: Departed Astros - Week 2

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