Looking Back: First Half Awards for the Houston Astros

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Best Reliever

Jun 19, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Houston Astros pitcher

Will Harris

(36) throws against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Seattle beat Houston 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The best reliever award was not on our weekly awards list. Who knows, maybe it should’ve been since Jeff Luhnow made that a point of emphasis during the offseason. The bullpen has been MAJOR reason the Houston Astros have had so many wins so far. With the bigger money guys, like Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek, added to the stable, the supporting cast of Will Harris, Tony Sipp, Chad Qualls, and Joe Thatcher could relax a bit and just do their jobs. One can only hope that they’ll be refreshed after the break and can get back to that “lights-out” mentality.

So, what did our staff here say? Who did they choose as the best reliever of the first half?

Brian del Castillo: “While some would say that the back end of the bullpen is the most valuable. I’m going to say that what Will Harris has done has been the most valuable part of the pen for Houston.  He’s got a 0.87 ERA in 41.1 innings.  That does it for me.”

Brandon del Castillo: “Luke Gregerson has come in and stabilized the back end of the bullpen. All of those blown saves from 2014 are now literally things of the past. Honorable mention – Pat Neshek.”

Aric Cisneros: “Will Harris (41+ innings, 4 ER!, so often came into tough spots and bailed others out)”

Issa Cook: “Will Harris.  This guy came out of nowhere in the first half. Should have been an All-Star. The opposite of Chad Qualls in every way possible, which is a good thing.”

Larry Manch: “Harris leads the team in WHIP and ERA, and deserves the top RP award.”

Eric Huysman: “Will Harris, he is the pure definition of a Fireman because he comes in and puts out the flames. He has a knack for stranding runners on base, and most of the runs he has given up are from the long ball. He should have been in the All-Star game, one of the best relievers in the game.”

Thomas O’Banion: “Luke Gregerson. I love Will Harris, don’t get me wrong, but Gregerson gets my vote. He comes in and puts the nail in the coffin. Without him, who would close? Harris is my runner up.”

David A. Miniel: “Chad Qualls. Just kidding, but the obvious choice has to be the 30-year-old right-hander who was born in the city of Houston, Texas. Despite giving up three home runs in as many appearances in June, he’s been lights out for the majority of the first half and hasn’t allowed a run in five innings of work to begin July.”

Will Harris gets the lion’s share of the CTH votes, and with good reason. Can’t argue much with that choice.

Next: First Half Offensive MVP