With the Houston Astros‘ bullpen immensely turning around since the trade deadline, Ryne Stanek has found more high-leverage in recent weeks. As an offseason pickup, the right-hander exceeded expectations in April, but after hitting a few speed bumps along the way, Stanek has been lights out as of late.
While on a short-term deal, general manager James Click reeled in a former Tampa Bay Ray that he oversaw in his tenure in South Florida. Stanek has seen his role vary from an opener to a middle reliever to a setup man, but the Astros might’ve found a solid seven-eight-nine with Kendall Graveman and Ryan Pressly following.
Ryne Stanek has found a rhythm over the last two weeks, as the Astros have another high-leverage slinger.
High-leverage situations were plaguing the bullpen arms early in the season, as Pressly looked to be the only consistent hurler late into ball games. With Yimi Garcia, Rafael Montero, Phil Maton and Graveman joining the mix, Stanek is finding his place once again.
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Over his last 15 appearances, the right-hander has only allowed three runs over 14 innings of works. After sustaining a 5.06 ERA in May and a 6.97 ERA in June, Stanek hasn’t allowed a run since July 30.
With most of his appearances coming in a setup role, the right-hander has also appeared in save opportunities, going two-for-four in those games. Stanek has reached his third season of surpassing 50 or more innings, while also posting his highest strikeout per nine in that span (11.17).
While boosting his fastball velocity back up to 97 MPH, the right-hander has relied more on his four-seamer than in years past, taking up 59-percent of his pitch usage.
Looking at the bigger picture, Stanek should see most of his innings in high-leverage situations, closing out jammed innings or working his way through the seventh inning.