Astros News

Astros playoff bullpen looks unclear as postseason nears

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 22: Roberto Osuna #54 of the Houston Astros pitches in the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park on August 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 22: Roberto Osuna #54 of the Houston Astros pitches in the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park on August 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 17: Robinson Chirinos #28 of the Houston Astros gives a pat on the chest to Ryan Pressly #55 after the final out against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 17, 2019 in Anaheim, California. Astros won 11-2. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 17: Robinson Chirinos #28 of the Houston Astros gives a pat on the chest to Ryan Pressly #55 after the final out against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 17, 2019 in Anaheim, California. Astros won 11-2. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

The Jury’s Still Out

So much relies on the health and effectiveness of Ryan Pressly. He’s nearing a return from knee surgery, and if he’s the Pressly we saw in the season’s first half, the bullpen should be fine. But there’s no guarantee of that, so the Astros will have to wait and see how he looks upon his return.

The same applies to Peacock, who’s been dealing with a shoulder issue since late June. In a best case scenario, Miley reverts to his old self and a healthy Peacock and Pressly join the bullpen. The team’s pitching staff would be stellar if that were to happen, but again, there are no guarantees.

All of a sudden, the idea of Jose Urquidy being on the playoff roster isn’t so far-fetched. The right-hander just struck out 10 batters in five innings of one-hit, one-run ball on Wednesday. It’s possible he’d be needed as a starter if Miley can’t rebound and Peacock isn’t ready, but he could also be deployed as a strike-throwing, multi-inning bullpen weapon too. How he looks the rest of the season will be key.

Next. Correa on pace for rehab assignment Friday. dark

Framber Valdez isn’t likely to be a popular choice among fans, but considering he’s the only left-hander on this list, it’s worth examining. He seems to have exhausted his opportunities as a starter, but he did pitch well out of the bullpen earlier this season. If the Astros use him in that role down the stretch as a sort of audition, it’s possible he could turn out to be useful.

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