Enoli Paredes is back. The free-throwing righty was recalled by the Houston Astros on Sunday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reported. As a corresponding move, Brandon Bielak was optioned back to Triple-A Sugar Land.
Paredes last pitched in the Major Leagues in June of last season. The now 26-year-old has carved up Pacific Coast League bats, striking out 12.7 batters per nine innings. Displaying a 0.93 ERA, Paredes ranked atop pitchers with at least 25 innings in all of Triple-A as of Saturday.
Sixteen walks are tacked to Paredes this season, but even with base runners, the righty has improved in leverage with only four over his last 11 innings. The righty’s command wavers but his off-speed movement continues to turn heads.
With Enoli Paredes back in the Astros’ bullpen, what role will he have against the Mets?
The bullpen was taxed against the New York Yankees with Rafael Montero, Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly pitching in three of the last four. Burning through high-leverage options, the Astros resorted to Seth Martinez in the bottom of the 10th inning Sunday.
Martinez has been lights, allowing his first run of the season against Aaron Judge in the biggest spot of his career thus far. Yet, Brandon Bielak wasn’t handed the ball all series for long relief, leaving seven of the eight arms used.
Bielak offered substantial depth in his callup, throwing seven one-run innings across three outings. With all four starters tossing six or more innings against the Yankees, the Astros are shuffling long relief for another short-relief hand in Paredes.
Martinez and Bryan Abreu can still offer two innings in relief with Bielak back in Triple-A Sugar Land. But as Monday marks the last off day before July 11, Paredes offers another short-relief arm to ease those of Montero, Neris, Pressly and Ryne Stanek.
Paredes last pitched Saturday, facing three batters as a setup man for Ronel Blanco. The righty punched out two in the eighth inning while yielding one hit.