Astros: Guduan optioned to minors, Valdez wins bullpen spot
By Brian Murray
It’s been a hard fought battle of the lefties to win that last spot in the Astros’ bullpen. It has finally come down to one, after the latest move.
According to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle, the Astros have optioned Reymin Guduan to the minor leagues, effectively putting Framber Valdez in the final open spot of the bullpen. Pitchers were getting optioned one by one, Cionel Perez last week and then Guduan today, leaving one man standing, Framber Valdez.
It’s not that Guduan didn’t have the performance and numbers to show he’s capable of manning the position. He appeared in ten games this Spring allowing only two earned runs, ending up with an ERA of 1.86 and a very low 0.83 WHIP. He had a nice SO/IP ratio of 12.10 striking out 13 batters in 9.2 innings of work.
Valdez had a late start to his Spring Training due to a stretched out throwing program, so he was playing a little catch-up. A. J. Hinch has been giving him as much work in as he can fit in. He started out a tad rusty but showed definite improvement as he got in more innings of work.
To date, he’s completed 15.1 innings in the six games he’s worked. He has surrendered six earned runs for a 3.56 ERA. The last two appearances, Valdez has allowed just four hits and no earned runs while giving up no walks.
With Brad Peacock and Collin McHugh moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation, Valdez was probably the best option given his experience with longer outings in relief. Guduan had a great Spring Training and I would be willing to bet he’ll be up in Houston wearing that Astros uniform before the year is out.