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Astros: Chris Devenski to start Saturday

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Mar 10, 2016; Melbourne, FL, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Chris Devenski (66) throws a pitch in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium. The Houston Astros won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 10, 2016; Melbourne, FL, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Chris Devenski (66) throws a pitch in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium. The Houston Astros won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports /
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Well, we were clamoring for a shake up on these 6-14 Astros. And now we got one in the starting rotation.

This Saturday will be the starting debut for the Astros’ own Chris Devenski on the major league level as he will be replacing Scott Feldman for at least one start.

The Astros may now be experiencing a sense of desperation early this season as the team has been a disappointment for the most part thus far in 2016. Besides Jose Altuve and Colby Rasmus, the offense has been inconsistent and stagnant. The same can be said for the majority of the pitching staff. So moving Devenski to the rotation is clearly a move to shake things up.

Devenski, only 25-years young, has been used exclusively out of the bullpen since being called up on April 8th. But the right-hander has impressed coming out of the ‘pen as he is currently posting a 0.66 ERA with a 0.878 WHIP in 13.2 innings pitched. He mainly gets by on a fastball-changeup approach, but also utilizes a slider and curveball on occasion.

Feldman will go into the bullpen for the time being, which is not surprising. After all, the veteran right-hander has only pitched past five innings in his first four starts once. And his SIERA of 5.27 is the second worse on the staff besides Doug Fister and his 5.65 SIERA. In fact, the argument could be made that Fister is more deserving of a demotion to the bullpen, but scheduling and his latest quality start may have taken the pressure off of the former Tiger and National for the time being.

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Only time will tell if Devenski will succeed in the rotation. One area of concern is what hitters will do once they see him two to three times in a game. The most batters he has faced in any game this season has been twelve. And while he has pitched effectively, he won’t be able to rely on overwhelming stuff. So that means staying one step ahead of the hitter and locating his pitches well. The success of mixing his fastball and changeup will be paramount this upcoming Saturday in Oakland.

Next: Astros: Colby Rasmus Named AL Player of the Week

If Devenski can pitch well for the Astros and the team gets Lance McCullers back in the coming weeks, then the Astros rotation may take a big step forward. However, there margin is slim right now with even ace Dallas Keuchel struggling at times in 2016. This audition of sorts will be must watch baseball for all Astros fans this weekend.

**Statistics provided by Baseball-Reference, Fangraphs & Brooks Baseball**

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