The Back End
Earlier in the season, the back of the Astros’ bullpen was simply unhittable. The combo of Ryan Pressly in the eighth inning and Roberto Osuna in the ninth was as certain as they come. Now, things are not quite as certain as they once were.
To be fair, this was an area where some regression was inevitable, considering how truly dominant they were in April and May. Osuna in particular seems to have struggled lately, but this is still one of the best late-inning tandems in the game.
Osuna’s ERA had dropped all the way to 0.42 in the second half of May, but he allowed five runs in his next three appearances. He righted the ship after that and was actually enjoying a run of six straight scoreless appearances going into the All-Star break.
He has struggled in the last two games, of course, but his season ERA still sits at a very respectable 2.33. Perhaps a couple days of rest would help, but there’s no reason to be concerned about Osuna at this point.
Pressly did not allow a run in his first 19 appearances this season. He struggled a bit in June, but hasn’t been scored upon in five July appearances thus far. His season ERA still sits at a microscopic 1.31, and there’s no better setup man in the game right now.
In short, the Astros are fine here. Osuna’s put together two poor appearances, but that’s far from reason for alarm. When it comes to trades, the team has a much greater need in the rotation than at the back of the bullpen.