A Hunter Brown call-up will be necessary to save the bullpen before September.
The Astros just added Enoli Paredes to the bullpen as this past weekend it was clear our high-leverage arms, the ones that have been the best in baseball, are starting to show some fatigue.
Paredes has done a great job in triple-A pitching to the tune of a 0.93 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 29 innings. He’ll be a much needed boost to a lagging bullpen who seem to be showing the wear and tear of a long season as we come up on the midway point of the year.
But Paredes should not be the only reinforcement based on what we saw against the Yankees in this series. Hunter Brown can fill the now vacant Cristian Javier role of super long reliever in the bullpen.
Brown has been primarily used as a starter and, just like Cristian Javier, the team sees him long term in the rotation. But with Javier pretty much cementing his spot in the rotation with 13 strikeouts and no hits over seven innings against the highest scoring offense in baseball, there’s now a long relief hole that currently Bryan Abreu and Seth Martinez are filling.
But Hunter Brown is the number one prospect in the Astros system and he is solidifying himself as an untouchable prospect. And all signs point to the fact that he would be completely comfortable in a relief role considering his numbers at AAA. Here are his side-by-side numbers as a starter and a reliever:
Starter: 2-3, 4.19 ERA, 38.2 innings, 56 strikeouts, 24 walks and a 1.42 WHIP.
Reliever: 2-0, 1 save, 0.00 ERA, 22 innings, 29 strikeouts, five walks and a 0.73 WHIP.
Yes, you read that correctly. He’s given up zero runs in 22 innings. He hasn’t even given up an unearned run. Nothing has come across the plate while he’s pitched in relief. And these aren’t short one inning outings.
Of his relief appearances, Brown has pitched five innings in three appearances, four innings in another and three in another where he earned the save.
Considering how quickly we saw high leverage relievers can burn out in a four game series, Brown’s length will be needed in October to save those one inning guys when we get to five or seven game series.