Examining the Astros overtaxed bullpen situation

DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 03: Pitcher Roberto Osuna #54 of the Houston Astros throws in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on July 03, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 03: Pitcher Roberto Osuna #54 of the Houston Astros throws in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on July 03, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 21: Brad Peacock #41 of the Houston Astros pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 21, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 21: Brad Peacock #41 of the Houston Astros pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 21, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The Verdict

In spite of the unit’s recent performance, this is still an excellent group overall. Osuna is in a rough stretch but should be fine, while the Astros could certainly utilize McHugh better at this point. Rondon may not be as reliable as he once was, so there may be room for an addition if Luhnow wants to make one.

Alternatively, the Astros could bring in two starters and move Peacock back to the bullpen. With his recent woes, Peacock may not be ready to rejoin the rotation immediately anyway. The Astros could instead give him plenty of time to rest and recover and then use him out of the bullpen once he’s ready.

This would essentially make the bullpen playoff-ready, while at the same time fixing the issues with the rotation. The Astros could bring two starters in right away to shore up the staff, which would probably be all they would need to do.

For the time being, however, the bullpen looks to be in for more work than it can handle. With Peacock’s setback, the suddenly unreliable Framber Valdez may start on Monday, with Tuesday’s starter to be determined. It could just be a bullpen day, which isn’t good news at this point.

Still, on the whole, the Astros’ bullpen is in decent shape. Once the rotation gets fixed, the relievers should no longer have to be overworked, so hopefully they’ll get back into a good rhythm down the stretch.

Next. Astros: You're making this harder than it should be. dark

The past few games notwithstanding, many teams would love to have the bullpen the Astros currently have. The team’s pressing need is in the rotation, and that’s where Luhnow and Co. will be focusing for the next two and a half weeks.

***Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference***

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