The bullpen is stronger than last year
One of the storylines from last year was Houston’s inexperienced bullpen and how well they would fare down the stretch. Well, they did pretty good – nearly going toe-to-toe with the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS. Now this bullpen comes back with experience and more reinforcements. Ryan Pressly returns in his second year as the team’s projected closer. And Enoli Paredes, Blake Taylor, Brooks Raley and Andre Scrubb all come into the season looking to build on successful 2020 campaigns.
But the Astros didn’t exactly keep it status quo with pitching. Houston went out and got Pedro Baez (career 3.03 ERA), Ryne Stanek (career 10.9 SO/9) and Steve Cishek (132 career saves) for bolstered bullpen depth, and welcome back Joe Smith (career 2.98 ERA) to the fold. Houston should have some serious competition for bullpen spots, and this group ought to be one of the better bullpens in the American League.