Astros acquire left-handed pitcher Brooks Raley from Reds

The Houston Astros have added additional pitching depth in lefty Brooks Raley.

In his constant search for additional pitching depth, Astros GM James Click has made another move to add another live arm to the ranks, acquiring left-handed pitcher Brooks Raley from the Reds for a player to be named later. The team also placed injured closer Roberto Osuna on the 45-day Injured List, as Osuna’s time in Houston may be done.

Raley, 32, is still considered a rookie despite the fact that he made his major league debut in 2012. He has only 42.1 major league innings to his name after going nearly seven years without appearing on a big league mound. He came up as a starter with the Cubs, making five starts in 2012 and putting up an 8.14 ERA.

The Texas A&M product made nine relief appearances for the Cubs in 2013 and didn’t see the majors again until this year. He struggled in Triple-A in 2014 before heading to Korea, where he settled in as a serviceable rotation arm for five seasons, going 48-53 with a 4.13 ERA.

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His return to the majors hasn’t gone that well so far, as he allowed four runs in four innings over four appearances for the Reds. Cincinnati designated him for assignment on Thursday, leading the Astros to take a chance on the Texas native. Considering their pitching woes, they’ll need all the depth they can get.

A Deeper Look

In his first stint in the major leagues, he used five pitches, with his sinker being the one used most often. So far in 2020, however, he’s used his slider more than half of the time while having completely ditched his changeup. He also throws a curveball and a four-seam fastball.

His fastballs average less than 90 mph, so he does need to use them selectively. He’s had success with his curve in the past, so perhaps using that a bit more would help. As far as platoon splits go, it’s an incredibly small sample, as he’s only faced three left-handed batters this season. He retired two of them and hit the other.

This is by no means a blockbuster trade, as it’s very much in the same vein as the Hector Velazquez trade. We may or may not see Raley on the major league roster this year, depending on how things go. He’ll most likely report to Corpus Christi to train with the alternate squad until he’s needed.

Still, the Astros have a distinct lack of left-handed pitching in the organization, so adding one more southpaw is a good move. Maybe with a little Brent Strom magic, the team could end up with a diamond in the rough here.