The Houston Astros Bullpen Could be Great in 2016.
The Houston Astros have appeared to have really improved the bullpen that struggled down the stretch with the trade for Phillies closer Ken Giles and re-signing Tony Sipp for three-years, $18 million. These two would join forces with Luke Gregerson, Will Harris, Pat Neshek, and Josh Fields to form a combined Transformer Autobot pitcher that would defeat the evil forces of American League hitters.
This may not be the same unit that the Kansas City Royals featured with the two flame-throwers at the backend, but it is improved from last year when the Astros were six outs away from advancing, but the lack of having a pitcher who could throw the ball by hitters crushed those dreams. That’s where the Giles trade comes in; they don’t call him 100 Mile Giles for nothing, he can throw the Texas heat. The Astros did not trade four players for Giles to become the setup guy, so it appears that Gregerson’s closing days are over for now.
It worries me a little that the Giles to Houston trade was announced on Wednesday night and has not been made official as of late Thursday night. Has one of the players failed the physicals or has one of the teams decided to back out? While the Astros are giving up 3 of 4 players who have promising futures, not giving Brett Oberholtzer the satisfaction if being part of the Astros future, the Astros got the pitcher they needed.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
I may be overreacting about the delay, sometimes trades just take slightly longer, but then late last night a report from ESPN came out that the Nationals were very interested in trading for Aroldis Chapman. Somewhat like an afterthought, the writer wrote that according to her source, the Houston Astros are interested as well. What, Jeff Luhnow wants Chapman and Giles, that would be a great bullpen, maybe too great?
It seems like several teams, such as the Red Sox and Dodgers are trying to model their bullpen off of the Royals. The Red Sox added Craig Kimbrel to an already decent bullpen to shorten the game as Kansas City baseball is played. However, do the Astros need to trade any more prospects to overstock the bullpen. The additions of Sipp and Giles should be enough to fix the bullpen woes from last season.
Here is my prediction for the Opening Day bullpen for the Astros.
Closer: Ken Giles
LH Setup: Tony Sipp
RH Setup: Luke Gregerson
Scott Feldman or second left-hander.
Yes, it is mostly the same bullpen from last year, but take out Chad Qualls and add Giles in his place, that’s a game-changing substitution.