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Houston Astros: Tony Sipp 2016 Projections

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Oct 14, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Tony Sipp throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the sixth inning in game five of the ALDS at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 14, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Tony Sipp throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the sixth inning in game five of the ALDS at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /
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How will Houston Astros’ Tony Sipp fair this upcoming season? Let’s Project!

The Houston Astros bullpen is expected to be the most improved unit of the club headed into 2016. With all the main pieces from 2015 returning and the monster addition of Ken Giles, Astros fans have good reason to believe that their team will be able to finish games throughout the season.

Tony Sipp is a key piece of AJ Hinch’s middle-relief strategy, is back after receiving a new 3-year, $18 million deal from the Astros during the offseason. Sipp, who is coming off his best season in 2015, has high expectations for this upcoming season as well.

In 2015, Sipp posted a 1.99 ERA, 1,031 WHIP, and 1.7 WAR in 60 appearances with the Astros. Also, Sipp only allowed five home runs and 15 walks while striking out 62k opponents. From an ERA and WAR standpoint, 2015 was by far Sipp’s best year.

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  • Looking ahead, I expect that Sipp’s innings pitched numbers will not decrease very much due to his role within the bullpen. Although the Astros added new pieces and have younger guys like Michael Feliz coming up, Sipp is needed for special situations late in the game as a left-handed arm. With the loss of Oliver Perez, Sipp is now the Astros’ only left-handed specialist coming out of the bullpen.

    Also, the Astros just invested $18 million in Sipp, and they will trust him to reproduce the numbers that he posted for them in 2014 and 2015, even though Sipp is getting older (Age 32).  I believe that this was a wise investment for the Astros, but Sipp will have to prove General Manager Jeff Luhnow and myself to be correct in our predictions. Here are my projections for Tony Sipp in 2016:

    2016 Projections:

    ERA: 2.82

    WHIP: 1.11

    Strikeouts: 56

    WAR: 1.3

    Overall, I believe that Sipp will continue to be a very reliable piece to the Astros bullpen in 2016. While I don’t think that he will match his contribution from 2015, I think that he will prove to have earned the nice contract that the Astros gave him a couple of months ago. With an improved group around him, the Astros don’t necessarily need Sipp to be the beast that he was last season, but the expectation is still for him to give the Astros quality innings late in the game.

    Next: Houston Astros: Doug Fister 2016 Projections

    If Sipp does not perform well, the Astros might consider calling up LHP Michael Freeman from the minors, as he has performed well so far in his minor league career. The Astros need more left-handed pitching in the bullpen, so Sipp has a fair amount of job security. But, if things go south, the Astros might have to look elsewhere quickly.

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