Houston Astros Countdown: Top Five “Sixth” Men for A.J. Hinch
By Colin Gay
When it comes to late-inning bullpen guys, Will Harris is among the best in the American League. In 14 appearances, Harris has a 1.17 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 15.1 innings pitched.
When it comes to Harris, it is all about his durability. He has pitched in over 65 games over the last two seasons with the Astros with an opponents’ batting average under .230 and an ERA sub-2.50. So far in the month of May, Harris has pitched in four games, giving up zero runs on five hits and one walk and striking out eight in five innings of work.
Durability is not his only weapon though. It’s also efficiency. Throwing a cutter 51.1 percent of the time, he thrives on generating contact with a ground ball percentage over 50 percent in his first two seasons with the Astros and at 47.6 percent so far this season. Even though this may not mean high strikeout numbers for the right-handed reliever, it does mean fast outings. Harris has thrown 15 pitches or less in eight of his 14 outings this year, throwing a full inning in each of those games.
Harris has proved to Astros manager A.J. Hinch and the rest of the coaching staff that, even without the overpowering fastball of Ken Giles or the devastating slider of Luke Gregerson, he can still get hitters out on a consistent basis.