Astros: Was that the final straw for Framber Valdez?

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ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 11: Starting pitcher Framber Valdez #59 of the Houston Astros is relieved by manager AJ Hinch #14 after giving up four runs on four hits during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park July 11, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 11: Starting pitcher Framber Valdez #59 of the Houston Astros is relieved by manager AJ Hinch #14 after giving up four runs on four hits during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park July 11, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images) /
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Astros’ Framber Valdez has, to put it mildly, not made the best of his opportunities this season in the Majors. Is this the last we’ll see of him this year?

I thought the Framber Valdez‘s last outing, when he only lasted two-thirds of an inning, was the final straw. But the setback in Brad Peacock‘s rehab threw a wrench in the works. All plans were thrown aside and A.J. Hinch and the Astros‘ front office were scrambling to put together a pitching schedule for the next two games.

With the arrival of Joe Smith and the anticipated activation of Peacock, Jose Urquidy and Cy Sneed were both sent back down to Round Rock. Then came the news of Peacock’s shoulder soreness reappearing. Sneed and Urquidy have to stay down their required 10 days before being recalled and Cionel Perez and Brady Rodgers are injured. That left the Astros no choice but to utilize Valdez once again.

Valdez came into the game after Josh James pitched one inning as the “opener” of the game against the Angels. Maybe I don’t understand this “opener” concept quite yet, but James had a nice showing that first inning. Can’t he pitch another inning or two? In any case, in comes Valdez.

He commences to give up seven runs, four of those earned, six hits, four walks, a wild pitch, and a throwing error. That resulted in Valdez’s fourth straight loss in as many appearances. In those four games, he has an astronomical 15.55 ERA, an opponents’ batting average of .400, and 22 hits and 22 runs in 11 innings of work. Valdez has a 9.0 walk per nine innings ratio over that span.

The Astros will be forced to rely on their bullpen squad to take the mound again tonight. These guys have been asked to take on a tremendous load lately and I sure hope it won’t show down the homestretch at the end of the season.

After tonight, the familiar, and highly welcomed faces of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley will be back at the helm. Then, who knows what the plan will be. Hopefully, Peacock won’t be out an extended period of time.

Next. Astros Rumor: Houston showing interest in LH starter Robbie Ray. dark

Sneed will be eligible to come back up soon if needed and it’s rumored they will recall Rogelio Armenteros to work a spell tonight. I just don’t think Framber Valdez is the answer, for now. Let him work some things out back in the minors, he’ll overcome. I fear, if he remains in the Majors and continues to see the same results, his confidence could be shattered for a long time to come.

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