The Houston Astros welcome back Alex Bregman but lose Blake Taylor and Chris Devenski.
After missing nearly three weeks with a hamstring injury, Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman is set to return to the lineup today. The team will be playing a doubleheader against the division-leading A’s, so they’ll certainly need him. Unfortunately, their beleaguered bullpen has lost relievers Blake Taylor and Chris Devenski to the Injured List.
The return of Bregman will be a big boost to a lineup that’s been producing fairly well lately. Kyle Tucker has been on fire, and other players have chipped in as well. If Bregman is his usual self, this team could score runs in bunches. If they’re going to win any games, they might have to.
Both Taylor and Devenski are experiencing elbow discomfort. In Devenski’s case, he only pitched in two games after coming off the IL in advance of the series against the Angels. He was scored upon both times, and he approached manager Dusty Baker following Sunday’s game and told him things just weren’t right.
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In Taylor’s case, he actually hid the injury from the team and tried to self-medicate, according to Baker. It’s not always easy for a rookie to learn to be open with the team about minor injuries for fear of missing time on the field, so hopefully this will be a good lesson for the young lefthander.
Given that Devenski clearly wasn’t 100 percent, the team can replace him fairly easily for the time being. The loss of Taylor is going to sting, however. He was the Astros best reliever this year, pitching to a 2.12 ERA in 18 appearances. That type of production is hard to come by in a bullpen that’s struggled mightily.
Baker will have to lean on Enoli Paredes, Andre Scrubb and Ryan Pressly in key situations, with everyone else pretty much being a question mark. Chase De Jong and Humberto Castellanos were called up to take Devenski and Taylor’s places on the roster, but neither has shown that they’re very reliable thus far. The lineup, now that it has Bregman, may just have to out-slug teams to win.