Astros reliever Chris Devenski continues to struggle in August.
To say the month of August hasn’t been kind to Chris Devenski would be putting it mildly. The once-reliable relief ace imploded yet again on Thursday, allowing three runs on four hits while recording just one out. The Astros simply can’t count on him right now.
The losing effort pushed Devenski’s ERA for the month of August up to an even 9.00. He’s made 11 appearances and been scored upon in seven of them. He’s only allowed two walks all month, but batters are teeing off to the tune of a .347 average against him.
That works out to 17 hits allowed in 11 innings of work, including three homers. He’s still missing bats, with 12 strikeouts on the month, but when he doesn’t miss bats, he seems to find the barrels.
Unfortunately for the Astros, they don’t have many other options at this point. Ryan Pressly won’t be back for another few weeks, and Brad Peacock‘s status for the rest of the season is a complete unknown. They simply have to hope Devenski gets things figured out.
On the Playoff Roster Anyway?
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If Devenski doesn’t put up a sterling September, the Astros have to at least consider leaving him off the playoff roster. There’s no point in carrying a pitcher who’s one step above throwing batting practice.
However, he could end up on the roster anyway simply for lack of a better option. Roberto Osuna, Will Harris, Hector Rondon, Joe Smith, Joe Biagini and Collin McHugh appear likely to make the roster. Pressly will join if he’s ready from a health standpoint.
That still leaves one or two spots available, and there’s no way of knowing if Peacock or Aaron Sanchez will be able to fill one. Devenski might end up being the best remaining option simply due to his experience. He may only be used in a mop-up role, but he may be on the roster nonetheless.
This is a surprising turn of events for a guy who was an insanely valuable pitcher in 2016 and 2017. He struggled some in 2018 and has seen his numbers get even worse this season. His current numbers in ERA (5.28), WHIP (1.38) and batting average against (.266) would easily be career-worsts.
He’s still just 28 years old, so there’s time to figure things out again. There’s no reason for the Astros to cut him loose at this point, and he still has a minor league option remaining. The team could give him some time in Triple-A to work on things next season if needed.
For now, however, nothing seems to be going right for Devenski. He’s been the weakest link in what has been a shaky bullpen in recent weeks, which doesn’t bode well for the team’s World Series hopes.