Enoli Paredes building case to be recalled by Astros

Once a high-leverage arm in late relief, Enoli Paredes hasn’t been with the Houston Astros since Sept. 3, 2021, when the right-hander was recalled for a short evaluation. From a closer by committee to back in the Minors, Paredes is making the best of his time in Triple-A Sugar Land.

Paredes sports a 0.56 ERA in the Pacific Coast League — the best of any pitcher with at least 16 innings. The righty’s fiery approach was seen this past weekend against the Oklahoma City Dodgers, where Paredes loaded the bases after two outs then punched out the third on a breaking pitch in the dirt.

With Enoli Paredes’ success in Triple-A, will the right-hander be recalled anytime soon?

Walks and command hindered Paredes’ stay with the Astros. While striking out 22 batters over 16 innings in Triple-A, the righty has also issued 10 walks and one hit batter over the same amount of work.

Paredes’ 2021 campaign mirrored his current walk struggles, striking out 20 batters to the 11 walks granted to opposing hitters which he conducted in an extra 4.2 innings compared to his 2022 numbers.

There are three option candidates — Blake Taylor, Seth Martinez and Bryan Abreu — within the current bullpen. While Taylor sits as the only lefty, Abreu or Martinez would likely be the first ones to Sugar Land, if the Astros look for a major-league evaluation for Paredes.

Martinez last pitched Monday, continuing his scoreless stretch in the Majors this season with six innings in May. The righty punched out five in that span, stretching to three innings in relief last week.

The case to send down Martinez isn’t strong. With his ability to go deeper into contests and success in relief, Martinez should remain in the bullpen for the time being. Abreu also pitched Monday, struggling to find consistent command in his respective appearance.

Abreu is on his final year of options, while he has also decreased his ERA to 3.26 after starting the month at 4.66. Paredes’ return to the Astros isn’t clear, but if the right-hander continues to improve command, he could be building trade value.

In order for Paredes to boost his chances, the right-hander needs to continue limiting free bases. While getting out of a base-loaded jam in the video above, Paredes yielded all three of those runners via walks.

According to Covers, the Astros have the lowest bullpen ERA (2.65) of any team in Major League Baseball, while also the only under 3.00. When something isn’t broke, a club usually doesn’t fix it but bolsters it. Paredes doesn’t improve this bullpen, but if an injury arises, he should be under consideration to be recalled.