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Astros Countdown: Top Five Players to Watch in June

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Apr 20, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros catcher Brian McCann against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 20, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros catcher Brian McCann against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tony Sipp

May 16, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Houston Astros catcher Brian McCann (left) celebrates with Astros relief pitcher Tony Sipp (right) after defeating the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
May 16, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Houston Astros catcher Brian McCann (left) celebrates with Astros relief pitcher Tony Sipp (right) after defeating the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

After a rough month of April, Tony Sipp proved once again in May why he is still he lefty specialist for the Astros. In nine appearances, Sipp had a 2.79 ERA with a 0.62 WHIP. With a .118 batting average against, he struck out 10 in his 9.2 innings of work.

Sipp was very good in the month of May. However, one problem came back for him. In his 9.2 innings of work, Sipp gave up two home runs. This came after an April where, despite his 5.79 ERA and 2.36 WHIP, he gave up no home runs. Overall though, Sipp seems to be generating ground balls when hitters make contact, with 51.3 percent of all contact coming on the ground, the highest of his career.

Why is June so important for the veteran left-hander? This month determines what the Astros will do before the trade deadline. Many people think that the areas the Astros need depth in are in the starting rotation and in the bullpen, specifically with left-handed pitchers.

What fans should worry about with Sipp is that he is on a very similar track to his 2016 season. After a May in which he had a 1.74 ERA with a 0.87 WHIP, Sipp struggled mightily in June. In 10 appearances, he gave up six earned runs on 11 hits and two walks in 4.1 innings of work amounting to a 12.46 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP.

June was the beginning of the end for Sipp in 2016. It will be interesting to see how the Astros respond depending on how he performs this June.

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