Monday’s abysmal loss to the Seattle Mariners proved the notion that the Houston Astros need another high-leverage arm more than ever before. It was almost like a wake up call, after a good run of bullpen outings.
The organization has been in the need of another big-time reliever since the start of the 2020 season. While the franchise explored options in free agency, they caught some bites but didn’t reel anyone in. The trade deadline is this Friday, and with the Oakland A’s bringing in Andrew Chafin, the Astros need to act on a top reliever to keep their momentum in the American League West.
After the bullpen blew up on Tuesday night, the Astros’ front office should act quickly on a high-leverage arm.
Manager Dusty Baker entered the ’21 season with one of the most depleted bullpens based on statistics and tenure. With injuries adding into the mix, the Astros were saved by a deep rotation in the middle of the season that could fluctuate to six men.
With Brooks Raley possibly forgoing his high-leverage role in Monday’s loss, the left-hander would immensely benefit from a role in smaller scenarios like many pitcher struggling. Sure, inheriting runners can be a blunder for a reliever, but this is where Raley is supposed to shine.
Pitchers are still on the injured list like Jose Urquidy, Josh James and Pedro Baez, but these three aren’t going to bolster the World Series odds. This is no secret, and every Astros’ writer and fan has been campaigning for certain relievers they see fit, but how far will general manager James Click go?
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His biggest moves as general manger thus far have been re-signing Michael Brantley and extending Lance McCullers Jr., but with owner Jim Crane opening the floor for Click, the competitive balance tax won’t be as big of a restriction on July 30. Click is a smart general manager, who seems to keep on us on the edge of our seats until the last second.
On the market, rumored MLB trade target Trevor Rogers exited Monday’s game with the Minnesota Twins with a finger injury. While no connection was linked with the Astros, the right-hander has been eyed as a top option at the deadline for contenders.
The market is about to get even busier, and while fans want to see the Astros act right away, we can only hope it is for the best option without pushing the farm system farther back for years to come.
The ball club is back on the field on Tuesday at 9:10 p.m., as they look to even the series. Lance McCullers Jr. looks to counter right-hander Chris Flexen. In Triple-A, Alex Bregman made his first start in his rehab assignment, where he went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run.