Following Kyle Tucker’s call up to the majors, I began to wonder what the Astros have in mind for their top prospects?
All remains quiet in terms of adding an arm to the bullpen, so could they look internally for a game changer? Could that be Forrest Whitley? He suffered an oblique injury, and listed as day-to-day. In the event he recovers, would he be the guy to solidify the bullpen this season?
First, let me credit a good friend with pointing this possibility out to me. I was not thinking of Whitley as an option, but it deserves some recognition.
The 6’5” right handed pitcher towers over hitters from the mound. He throws five different pitches: fastball, slider, curve ball, change-up and cutter. He brings a great combination of power and precision, which makes him such a desired player by many teams. Luckily, he is in our system.
Whitley continues to be highly revered as he has been in the past. For example, Nolan Ryan took time to watch Whitley in high school. I would say he impressed.
Truthfully, there is no real evidence the Astros’ bullpen needs help.
The Astros’ relief corps rank among the top in several categories regarding their performance. We, as fans, tend to remember the bad more than the good. What a time it is, to be more focused on the bad days than to relish in how great this team has become.
If we break it down, there are only a few pitchers that would truly change our bullpen. Brad Hand, Rasiel Iglesias, Felipe Vasquez and a few others. However, there would be a heavy price tag on them. Do we want to pay that? Is the cost worth the trade off? Many will disagree with me, but I would be skeptical we get a great deal.
Most notably, Forrest Whitley has all the tangible assets to be a great big-league pitcher. The only thing missing is the experience. However, does experience always reflect success? Time and time again we are shown that the intangibles within a player defy the logic of baseball.
We may witness a story similar to that of David Price in 2008. Even as a rookie, they put him in during big games . He delivered, only having his self-confidence, and the confidence of his coaches, teammates and family. At the end of the day, it’s all about what you bring to the plate. All in all, Forrest brings quite a bit. He can be the answer to the woes fans are crying over.