All eyes in baseball will be on the Houston Astros as the Roberto Osuna is set to be activated.
To say that the aftermath of trading for Roberto Osuna has been rough for the Astros front office is an understatement. No matter how you or I feel about the Osuna situation, he is here for now and later. From a baseball viewpoint, it was a great move, but it was a risky move that could backfire later. We have all heard the backlash from national and local social media, but we haven’t even witnessed the problematic part.
Osuna will join the Corpus Christi Hooks for a couple of appearances before being activated on Sunday versus the Dodgers. This will usher a new era of baseball in Houston, but also means one of their relievers will be heading to Triple-A. Who? That is a hard question that is facing the Astros front office?
Let’s take a look at the current bullpen members and their stats from the last 30 days via MLB.com.
Hector Rondon – 6.43 ERA, four saves in five attempts, seven strikeouts in seven innings (seven games).
Chris Devenski – 24.72 ERA, 12 runs in 4 1/3 innings while striking out three hitters (six games).
Will Harris – 5.00 ERA while striking out 13 in nine innings (10 games).
Tony Sipp – 0.00 ERA while striking out 12 in 7 1/3 innings (8 games).
Joe Smith – 1.00 ERA while striking out nine in nine innings (12 games).
Brad Peacock – 5.91 ERA while striking out 14 in 10 2/3 innings (10 games).
Collin McHugh – 1.15 ERA while striking out 17 in 15 2/3 innings pitched (11 games).
Ryan Pressly – 3.86 ERA with one strikeout in 2 1/3 innings (2 games).
While most of these guys overall numbers are better or worse than these stats, they show a trend. Rondon, McHugh, Pressly, Sipp, Harris, and Smith are likely safe. The two players who could be on the bubble are Devenski and Peacock. We know that Peacock is out of options and AJ Hinch is still comfortably trotting him out despite his struggles.
Devenski has been a valuable piece to the Astros bullpen, but he could be the one who goes down to get back to top form. He has a 2-2 record with a 4.19 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings. Devenski only appeared in six games in the past 30 days. He gave up eight runs in total during consecutive appearances on July 22 and 27th, has not pitched since.
If Devenski goes down in favor of Osuna, he would likely return in September when rosters expand. The Astros have also set themselves for some interesting decisions when the playoffs start with too many pitchers on the roster. But it allows them to have additional options and depth in case of an injury. My wife just said she thinks it will be Smith.
Updated, Devenski has been sent to the DL with hamstring tightness, according to Mark Berman. That answers that question. Cionel Perez will be joining the team for two games. Thankfully Fresno is reasonably close to Los Angeles.
The pitcher who goes down for Osuna will be a hard decision for management. Maybe the Astros will have some mysterious players take turns on the DL to rest up for the playoff stretch. Devenski is a fan favorite around here. They have two open spots on the 40-man roster. Either way, a deserving pitcher will take a seat for Osuna. Who? Thankfully that is not my decision.