How will Hunter Brown respond to his first time facing Major League hitting?
The Astros have truly put to the test the adage of “You can never have too much pitching.” Even despite Justin Verlander’s injury, they have a top-five Cy Young candidate in Framber Valdez plus last year’s fifth-place vote-getter in Lance McCullers Jr. Combine that with the talented pitching of Jose Urquidy, Cristian Javier, and Luis Garcia and it’s truly incredible how much depth their rotation has.
Now, with Hunter Brown being called up, the Astros have the potential of seven stellar arms and only four postseason rotation spots to put them. Brown will obviously be coming out of the bullpen and he will almost assuredly fill the relief role previously held by Cristian Javier.
The Astros will use him as a multiple-innings reliever. To prepare him for his super-reliever role, his final appearance in Triple-A Sugar Land was being brought into the game with two outs in the third and no runners on base. simulating entering a game mid-inning. His other relief appearances have been in tandem starts.
If Brown performs as well as he has in the minor leagues, the Astros will have a tough decision on their hands as to who they should carry into October. They already have the best bullpen ERA and opponent’s batting average in the American League at 3.04 and .215 respectively.
Could Hunter Brown make the best bullpen even better?