5 Astros relievers who will have a much bigger role in 2024

With Hector Neris, Phil Maton and Ryne Stanek all leaving in free agency, these five Astros relievers will be tasked with a much bigger responsibility in 2024.

Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners
Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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#4 Forrest Whitley

Last year we argued the Astros should convert Forrest Whitley to a reliever to save his career. Dana Brown announced they will do just that in 2024.

The once top prospect has had quite a fall, but the stuff is still there. Injuries have prevented Whitley from putting it all together. Asking Whitley to let it eat for 20-25 pitches is entirely different than asking him to navigate multiple times through an order and start every fifth day.

As long as Whitley stays healthy, he will be a middle reliever moving forward, and with as much emphasis as the Astros have placed on middle relief, he's one of the favorite internal candidates. If Whitley has a strong Spring, he will likely break camp with the big league club.

If not, Houston did get an extra option year do to his injuries and will no doubt bring him up at some point as they navigate injuries and workloads over 162 games. Barring catastrophe, we should finally see the much anticipated debut of the former ace of the future.