The ballad of Andre Scrubb has been routed in the inconsistencies of command but also luck. From working counts to loading bases, the right-hander went the most innings for the Houston Astros in 2020 but has bounced up and down in 2021, which is noteworthy when comparing the two years.
The starting rotation has kept the bullpen quiet over the past two weeks, but with a short-handed ‘pen, the Astros optioned Taylor Jones to Triple-A for Scrubb. While pitching in his fist major-league game since May 30, Scrubb went a scoreless-inning, but command struggles were still evident.
The Astros optioned Jones for Scrubb, which comes with a few benefits.
Since turning to a six-man rotation, the Astros have had seven possible arms for late innings in relation to the typical eight. This wasn’t an issue, while the bullpen was in the bottom five in production for the month of June.
While you can’t expect a quality start every outing, bullpen arms are needed, so that is why the Astros needed to turn to 14 pitchers. This also strands the position players to 12, but with Robel Garcia and Abraham Toro platooning at third base, Jones wasn’t used as much.
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Taylor Jones Usage Was Down
The outfield has five players shifting through it, and with Kyle Tucker back, there isn’t much room to fit Jones in it to the picture. Toro can play first base, if Yuli Gurriel needs the night off as well. While not having an at-bat since June 23 in Baltimore, a Triple-A stint will help develop a consistency of playing time. We saw this with Robel Garcia earlier in the season, when Tyler Ivey made his debut.
Andre Scrubb Pitching Better?
While being recalled for the second time this week, Scrubb has been pitching better at Triple-A. Yes, it was against minor-league talent, but the right-hander had a 1.35 ERA through 6.1 innings with the Skeeters this season. With five walks to his seven punch outs, Scrubb was still lucky against weaker hitters.