Astros News

Houston Astros’ Bullpen Problems, What’s New?

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May 13, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro (left) and relief pitcher Luke Gregerson (44) celebrate a victory against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
May 13, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro (left) and relief pitcher Luke Gregerson (44) celebrate a victory against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports /
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Option 3: Michael Feliz– Not Likely At All

May 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Michael Feliz (45) and catcher Jason Castro (15) celebrate after defeating the Minnesota Twins 16-4 at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
May 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Michael Feliz (45) and catcher Jason Castro (15) celebrate after defeating the Minnesota Twins 16-4 at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Hold on. Are we talking about the same Feliz? Yes, I am. For most of his minor league career, Feliz has been looked at as a starter, starting 12 games for Double-A Corpus Christi in 2015. However, Feliz has impressed in Hinch’s bullpen.

In 2016, Feliz has a record of 1-1 with an ERA and WHIP of 6.43 and 1.29 respectively. He has improved greatly in the month of May as a long reliever. In 5 games, Feliz has thrown 8.2 innings of 3 hit ball while giving up only one earned run. In that span, he has walked no one and has struck out 13 batters.

Averaging 12.86 strikeouts per 9 innings, Feliz has cut down his pitching repertoire from 6 pitches to 3. He throws a mid-nineties fastball and a low eighties slider and changeup. His fastball has been known to creep up into the 97, 98 range as it did in his four innings of work against the Cleveland Indians on May 10th and 11th.

To clear the air a bit, this is never going to happen, and even if it did, it definitely only would be temporary. However, with solid appearances at the end of games for the Astros, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is his destiny.

Next: Astros: The Shape of the Outfield

I like seeing him out of the bullpen, and I think. Eventually, that is where he will stay. With the front office still thinking he is a starter in a future Astros starting rotation, Feliz won’t be doing this anytime soon. He does have the stuff to be successful there, though.

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