It’s early, but Houston Astros pitcher Rogelio Armenteros is showing signs he is working his way back to his 2019 form.
The talk of the Houston Astros‘ season surrounded their lack of pitching depth, but some good news was released on Monday. Rogelio Armenteros, who is in the middle of his third year pitching with the Gigantes del Cibao of the Dominican Winter League, is off to a strong start. In his first start since undergoing surgery to remove a bone spur, he allowed no hits and struck out five hitters in three innings.
The 26-year-old was signed by the Astros on Sept. 15 in 2014 on an amateur deal out of Cuba. Armenteros didn’t make it to the big leagues until 2019, where he has only pitched 18 innings and posted a 4.00 ERA. He doesn’t allow many walks (five in ’19) and thrives on strikeouts. His ERA has risen in large part because the sample size is so small and that he doesn’t get deep into games (his longest outing is five innings).
In a 2019 start against the Oakland Athletics, Armenteros was fanning batters until he hit the 3rd inning and allowed two runs. The fall would go into the 4th inning as well and batters appeared better prepared to mash what he was offering.
Armenteros isn’t a pitcher to throw many balls; he is very good at painting the corner and catching batters looking. While analytics usually state that pitchers should not go through the order for a third time, he struggles facing hitters the second time through the order. As for his stuff, he relies on a fastball-changeup combination, which vary about nine mph.
Armenteros is healthy now, and based on the video, he appears to be working his way back toward his 2019 form. He won’t be competing for a starting role in 2021, but more for the spot as a long reliever. I preached how Cristian Javier could end up being the long reliever next season, but a healthy Armenteros is a better fit for more innings out of the bullpen. This would end up bumping Javier to the 5th rotational spot and could help with the arm depth for a young, struggling Astros bullpen.