Astros: Pitching prospect Bryan Abreu deserves a roster spot

Bryan Abreu is one of many Astros pitching prospects battling it out for that coveted spot on the active roster. He has done everything necessary to earn it.

The Astros are in the midst of a stiff competition for both starters and relievers to complete their opening day pitching staff. Bryan Abreu finds himself right in the middle that battle to make the team’s 26-man roster. From what we’ve seen, he has proven that he deserves to join the team when they return to Houston.

Even though Abreu ranked in the top five of the Astros Top 30 Prospects last season, it was somewhat of a surprise to see him get the callup late last year. After all, he had never pitched above the AA level in his Minor League career. What was even more surprising was the success he enjoyed once he joined the Astros.

Abreu appeared in just seven games last season, all in relief. But he certainly made the most of those appearances. In 8.2 innings pitched, Abreu allowed only one earned run while striking out 13 batters and walking three. That was good for a 1.04 ERA and a SO/9IP of 13.5.

Although a small sample, he impressed AJ Hinch and the coaching staff enough to earn him a spot on the 2019 American League Championship Series roster. That may have proved to be too much too quickly for the 22-year-old pitcher. He gave up two hits (1 HR) and two earned runs in just 0.2 innings pitched in Game 1 of the series and saw no more postseason ball the remainder of the year.

Abreu has started out this spring training right where he left off last season, not counting postseason play. He pitched the first two innings of today’s game against the Detroit Tigers. He struck out four, throwing 30 pitches (21 for strikes) facing the minimum six batters.

One of those strikeout victims was Miguel Cabrera and it left him with a nice feeling of satisfaction. He said, “He’s a great hitter, man, and that made me feel like I’m doing it the right way.” via Brian Mctaggart of MLB.com

I don’t think whether he makes the roster or not is the real question. Where his services will be used is what needs to be answered. Last week Brent Strom stated that he’s “really high” on Abreu and said he “can be an exceptional major-league starting pitcher” one day. But indicated he most likely isn’t in the running for the fifth starting spot, making him a reliever candidate. But if he continues pitching the way he has been that may change.