FIRST THREE IN….
Morton has been a starter all year and has been solid. If McHugh had faltered at all since his return, Morton might be the fourth starter come playoff time.
However, with Morton’s velocity, and his success against left-handed hitters this year (combined LHB batting average .161), he could be a valuable piece not only has long relief but also as a situational reliever to get a lefty out. Also, the health of Lance McCullers is still in question, so if there are any health flare ups to him or any other starters, Morton could step in.
Clippard was acquired from the White Sox after the trade deadline. Clippard is not only a veteran but one with four years of playoff experience. While he is not in his prime, he can still be a serviceable reliever. Since coming to the Astros, Clippard got off to a good start, with four appearances yielding zero runs.
However, in his most recent four outings, he has given up six earned runs in 3.1 innings, including two long balls. Clippard would not be looked up on to pitch any extended amount of time, but maybe to get one or two batters. He has had an up and down year, so hopefully, he can find his form by October.
Liriano was the only move made before the trade deadline in July and was acquired to be a left on left specialist, as well as having a veteran presence. Thus far, Liriano has not impressed. Since joining Houston, he has pitched nine innings and has accrued a 6.00 ERA and an extremely high 2.33 WHIP.
His BB/9 is 8.00 and simply cannot be relied on during high leverage situations. The veteran southpaw has been a starter for most of his career, so the transition to the bullpen is something new for him. Liriano needs to make an adjustment, and become more reliable if he wants to play in the post season.