The Houston Astros added all of nobody before the trade deadline, so here are three relievers needed to hold this bullpen together.
So the Houston Astros watched the trade deadline come and go without adding anyone. Just about everyone expected them to add at least one experienced bullpen arm, but James Click expressed faith in the guys they already have, saying they were good enough to compete for the World Series.
Maybe so. For what it’s worth, the Astros bullpen has been coming around recently, with a few key guys stepping up to keep this unit secure.
Of course, not everyone is so reliable. With so many relievers making their debuts, this is all still a work in progress. Maybe Enoli Paredes is something special—I tend to think so—but how much can we really count on him? Hard to say. Sure, we’ve added guys like Brooks Raley and Chase De Jong, but are they really answers? Similarly hard to say.
These three are the most important in the Houston Astros bullpen
Bullpens don’t do well with uncertainty. This team really needs a few key guys to step up and be the pillars they can build a game around. While they don’t always have to be 7-8-9th inning guys like the old Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel, Billy Wagner days, the concept is the same. Build the foundation and the rest becomes much more reliable.
Or at least, a lot less likely to do damage.
So let’s explore the three guys who can be those pillars and build this bullpen into a formidable force. We start with No. 3.
3. Blake Taylor
Trading Jake Marisnick kind of sucked just because I think we all really liked Marisnick. He was subtly clutch, a great fielder, tremendous speed. But it’s turned out that his final service to us was to get us Blake Taylor, a clutch left-handed reliever that’s looking like the kind of guy that has the stuff to be a closer, if we so desire.
With an ERA of just 1.20 and a LOB% of 96.7%, Taylor is a brick wall. He doesn’t walk a lot, he gets a lot of groundballs, and did I mention he’s a lefty?
If he can prove consistent, it’s a fantastic first step.
Step no. 2 up next.