Grading the Bullpen
While we still don’t know who the closer, we do know that the bullpen should be better on paper. Cody tells us that the Houston Astros: Closer to be revealed Sunday. The Astros essentially replaced Oliver Perez and Chad Qualls with Giles and Feliz from last year’s team. What this does is adds two flame-throwers to a bullpen that lacked that last year. If the Astros had Giles last year during Game 4 of the ALDS, he could have shut them down before the Royals were able to score all those runs that led to the Astros defeat. No matter who the closer is, the depth is better.
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The Astros were able to re-sign a premium left-handed reliever in Sipp who could have gone anywhere. Instead, he returned to the team he loves to finish what they started last year. He has turned from a waiver wire pickup into a stable figure in the bullpen. He will start the season as the only left-hander in the Astros bullpen as has Harris. The return to health of Neshek could be a great factor for the Astros. Neshek pitched last year with a foot deformity the size of a meatball, so he could become the force in the bullpen that the Astros were expecting.
Feliz was the last person named to the Astros 25-man roster as the long reliever. The Astros have moved past the Roberto Hernandez and Straily days of long relief are done, they have given that role to one of the top prospects in the Astros system. Feliz bounced back and forth last year between the bullpen in Houston and the rotation with the Hooks (Double-A), so he is the perfect fit for the long-relief role.
Fan Quote: “Hinch probably wants Giles to earn his stripes in the clubhouse, before handing him the closing job. I would be fine with Gregerson beginning the season as closer. Feliz is a HUGE wild card. I hope the Astros eventually see him as more than a long man.” @SteveinLC
Thanks to all the people who offered their opinions for this post, I wanted to get an idea of what other people felt instead of solely on my own opinions. This team is built to win now and down the road, come this same time next year and we could say that the infield would be an A+++++ with the possible additions of Reed and Collin Moran.