The Houston Astros’ cast of relief pitchers is leading the Majors in almost every statistical category, even after last night’s hiccup.
The Astros‘ bullpen is picking up right where it left off last season, one of the best, if not the best, in the Majors. It’s just six games to go by, but the success they enjoyed in 2018 seems to be continuing right into the 2019 season. Yes, there was a glitch against the Rangers last night, but that’s going to happen, even with the best.
Framber Valdez was the last relief pitcher to finally get his turn on the mound this season. His 2019 debut yesterday evening did leave a lot to be desired. He was the first out of the bullpen to be credited with a loss, giving up two runs in a tied up ballgame during the seventh inning. But with that still taken into account, the Astros at the top of the league in most statistics.
The bullpen is tied for first in the American League with a 0.5 WAR and have an ERA of 1.76, ranking third in the league. One of the most impressive numbers is the strikeout to walk ratio. The Astros relievers have fanned 21 batters and only issued two walks in 15.1 innings pitched. That calculates to a strikeout ratio of 12.33 K/9 and a 1.17 BB/9 walk ratio. Their K/BB is an astounding 10.50, the next closest team is the Rays at 4.56.
Josh James has been on fire striking out five batters in his two innings pitched. But the most efficient to date are Roberto Osuna and Hector Rondon. They have both pitched two innings apiece, but neither pitcher has yet to allow anyone to reach base while striking out five. Ryan Pressly hasn’t given up a run in his last 23 appearances going back to August 10 of last season.
When looking back at last season’s league-leading performance and how this bullpen has started off the 2019 season, there’s no reason to believe that this bunch of relievers isn’t going to be one of the strong points of this team.