Astros news: Houston bolsters bullpen, plucks former White Sox reliever off waivers

The Astros added another right-handed pitcher to the roster.
Chicago White Sox pitcher Declan Cronin
Chicago White Sox pitcher Declan Cronin / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

According to Chandler Rome of The Athletic, the Houston Astros made a minor roster move on Thursday with the addition of right-handed reliever Declan Cronin.

The Chicago White Sox pitcher was recently placed on waivers, and now joins the Astros roster. With Houston already employing 40 players on its roster, a corresponding move will have to made.

Cronin was a 36th-round draft pick of the White Sox back in 2019. The 26-year-old appeared in nine major league games for Chicago in 2023 and owned a 9.00 ERA and 7.80 FIP in 11 innings of work. Cronin struck out just below 16-percent of the batters he faced, but did have a ground ball-rate of 55.9-percent.

Astros add for White Sox pitcher Declan Cronin

Declan Cronin features a two-pitch mix. His fastball/ slider combination saw the right-hander go to his breaking ball more than the heater in 2023, and Cronin's fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90s with plenty of sink.

Cronin joins a crowded Houston Astros bullpen with the likes of Bryan Abreu, Ryan Pressly, and Kendall Graveman. It'll be hard for Cronin to break onto Houston's Opening Day roster. However, the right-hander has minor-league options remaining, so at the very least, Cronin can provide depth in the Astros minor league system.

Cronin has maintained an impressive ground ball-rate during his time in the minor leagues. Throughout his entire minor league career with the Chicago White Sox, Cronin only posted 150 punch outs over 184.1 innings of work, but his ground ball-rate has consistently been above 50-percent at every stop along the way.

This is far from the type of big-name signing that Astros fans are hoping for, but sometimes these minor deals can have a major impact. The Declan Cronin pick-up isn't going to grab headlines, but perhaps the Astros coaching staff can help get the most out of their newest addition.