The Astros front office needs to pull the plug on this constant rotation of starting pitchers and pull the trigger on making that necessary trade.
If last night’s pitching performance by Framber Valdez wasn’t a wake-up call for the Astros, I certainly don’t know what is. How many times can we call up and recall up pitchers before the message is clear? The answer is not in the Minor League system.
The Astros have called upon Valdez, Corbin Martin, and Jose Urquidy to come up to the Big Leagues and try their hand at starting for the club. Not one of those pitchers has an ERA below 5.00 as a starter. Martin is sitting at 5.59, Valdez at 8.10 after last night’s start, and Urquidy has a 10.50 ERA in his two starts.
Those three pitchers out of Round Rock have a total of two wins in their combined twelve starts. They are collectively lasting only 3.75 innings per game on average. Valdez couldn’t even get out of the first inning last night. This is putting a heavy burden on the Astros bullpen, to say the least.
Then you have Brad Peacock and Collin McHugh that don’t even know if they’re starters or relievers anymore. Both pitched solely out of the pen last season, except Peacock’s one start. They were asked this season to resume their previous roles as starters. Since then, Peacock has gone from starter, to reliever, and back to starter, while McHugh has been relegated back to the pen.
In my opinion, for whatever it’s worth, a pitcher needs to get into a nice rhythm to be successful at his profession. I don’t see how a pitcher can gain that rhythm by changing their roles back and forth. I also feel that bouncing pitchers up and down between the Minors and the Majors can possibly cause a setback in their development, by hurting their confidence.
The Astros have a solid #1 through #3 in their starting rotation, with Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Wade Miley. But after that, it’s been a real crapshoot. Having only three reliable starters isn’t going to help much in a second-half push to the postseason and definitely not going to get you through the playoffs.
My plea to GM Jeff Luhnow, as if he’s reading this, is please please go get another solid starting pitcher, before the trade deadline or before the other contenders snatch them up first. Whether it be Trevor Bauer, Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Boyd, or whoever, I really don’t care anymore. Just please get it done.