Astros: Three Position Battles to Watch in Spring Training

codypoage
Mar 29, 2015; Kissimmee, FL, USA; A general view of the field from the roof of Osceola County Stadium during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2015; Kissimmee, FL, USA; A general view of the field from the roof of Osceola County Stadium during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Position Number Two: Left-Handed Relief Specialist

Astros
Oct 9, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Tony Sipp throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the 7th inning in game two of the ALDS at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports /

The primary left hander out of the bullpen, Tony Sipp, had a largely forgettable 2016 season.

4.95 ERA
6.19 FIP
3.71 BB/9
8.24 K/9
19.4% HR/FB

Oh, the Astros paid Sipp $6 million last season. His WAR converted into dollars was a negative $6 million. Yeah, um, that wasn’t good to say the least.

So, where does the team go from here?

The most likely solution is rolling with Sipp for at least another season. He is guaranteed $6 million in each of the next two seasons. And while his 2016 season was clearly not optimal, the possibility of a bounce back campaign exists. Don’t forget that he was one of the Astros best relievers in 2014 and 2015.

But say if Sipp is unable to replicate his past success, who should Houston turn to under that circumstance?

Kevin Chapman, Asher Tolliver, and Reymin Guaduan are on the Astros 40-man roster. All three could be options depending on how they perform. Brian Holmes, a non-roster invitee, could be another name to watch, even though he has been primarily a starter throughout his minor league career.

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