Astros calling on draft bust despite slow start to assist struggling bullpen

It's been a long time coming for this Astros farmhand.
Houston Astros starting pitcher Forrest Whitley (60)
Houston Astros starting pitcher Forrest Whitley (60) / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Forrest Whitley will finally be able to make his major league dreams come true. After seven minor leagues seasons and too many injury setbacks to count, the former first-round pick will finally make his big league debut. According to Brian McTaggert of, the Houston Astros are calling up Whitley to join the team's beleaguered bullpen.

Josh Hader was the latest reliever to disappoint manager Joe Espada on Monday night. After walking the first batter he faced, Hader allowed five four consecutive base hits, and what was a one-run deficit turned into 6-1 blowout loss.

Whitley will now be asked to help to exorcise the demons that have haunted the Astros relief corps this season. Houston's bullpen has a 5.45 ERA, which ranks 14th in the American League, ahead of only the Tampa Bay Rays.

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But are the Astros promoting the right player? It's not as if Whitley is setting the world on fire down at Triple-A Sugar Land. The right-hander has appeared in three games this season for the Space Cowboys and has allowed four runs on four hits, including three home runs. Whitley's 12.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP don't exactly scream major league-ready.

Is this what the Astros are left with at this point? A pitcher like Logan VanWey or Ray Gaither would seem like the better choice. Houston's bullpen has surrendered 71 hits, 10 of which are homers. Outside of Tayler Scott and Seth Martinez, the entire Astros bullpen has been abysmal this season.

While this may feel like a Hail Mary on the part of the Astros front office, it's a monumental day for Whitley. After his first two seasons in the pros, it seemed like Whitley was destined to be a frontline starter in the Astros rotation. But a suspension and a slew of injuries derailed what could have been a promising career.

When Espada makes the call, Whitley will finally get to step onto a major league mound. It may not be the way that Whitley or the Astros had envisioned it, but the 26-year-old will get his chance to prove that he belongs after being selected in the first round of the MLB Draft back in 2016.

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