Astros need for bullpen help increases after Kendall Graveman injury news

The Astros' bullpen got some more bad news on Tuesday.
Sep 9, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Kendall Graveman (31) pitches
Sep 9, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Kendall Graveman (31) pitches / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Pretty much the last thing the Houston Astros needed is more bad news about their bullpen. Hector Neris, Phil Maton, and Ryne Stanek have all hit free agency with only Maton appearing to have any chance of returning. When you combine those losses with the Astros appearing to have little payroll flexibility, things were already looking pretty grim for the Astros' relief corps.

Unfortunately, things got worse with today's news that Kendall Graveman just had shoulder surgery and will miss the entire 2024 season. While it wasn't known at the time of the announcement as to what procedure Graveman underwent, it was later revealed that Graveman had right labral surgery which has historically been pretty bad news for pitchers.

Kendall Graveman's injury makes the Astros' offseason look even worse

When the Astros traded for Graveman at last year's trade deadline, the hope was that he would be able to give Houston's bullpen some quality innings late in games and provide some much needed depth. With so many guys hitting free agency this offseason, the Astros were going to have to hope that he would be able to step in and help fill the void.

Now, Houston is going to be left scrambling even more than they already were this offseason. The bullpen is a mess and they gave up catching prospect Korey Lee to pay Graveman $8+ million for 23 appearances last season. When it rains, it pours.

Perhaps this development will finally force Jim Crane to give general manager Dana Brown some room to maneuver this offseason. Houston was already looking at a Maton reunion and/or signing free agent Robert Stephenson. Perhaps losing Graveman could at least make adding a quality bullpen arm more likely the rest of the way. If not, Houston is going to have to get really, really creative to fill out their bullpen this coming season.

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