As the playoffs near, the Astros bullpen looks to be a source of concern.
As good as the Astros offense is, and as good as the Big Three in the starting rotation is, there’s still concern among many fans heading into October. The team’s bullpen has been besieged by injuries and inconsistencies, which could be a recipe for disaster come playoff time.
Making matters worse is Wade Miley‘s recent struggles. If he’s not able to get things turned around, the Astros won’t be able to use him in the playoff rotation. That could force them to use someone such as Brad Peacock who might otherwise be available out of the bullpen.
Even if Miley gets things figured out, the Astros still seem one or two pitchers short of a full, confidence-inducing bullpen. There are some guys they can (or have to) rely on, and others who simply can’t be counted on for meaningful innings. There are also several what-ifs at this point, which will need to be figured out before the playoffs start.
For the purposes of this look at the bullpen, I’m not considering guys who have virtually no chance at making the playoff roster. With all due respect to Cy Sneed, Cionel Perez, Bryan Abreu and Forrest Whitley, it’s just not happening this year.
There are guys who are locks to make the roster, while there are others who may end up on the roster but will only throw meaningless innings. There are also some who have work to do, either in their on-field performance or for health reasons, to join the playoff bullpen.