Wednesday's Three Astros Things

HOUSTON - JUNE 22: Friday night fireworks light up the Houston sky after the Cleveland Indians defeated the Houston Astros 2-0 at Minute Maid Park on June 22, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

1) The fall of the Regulators

The bullpen has been shaky lately, and it definitely shows in the stats. While not a perfect stat, ERA shows results, and these are the results that the bullpen has been getting in the past 30 games.

ERA

Fernando Abad

0.00 (4.1 IP)

Wilton Lopez

2.84 (6.1 IP)

Xavier Cedeno

3.00 (9 IP)

Brandon Lyon

4.63 (11.2 IP)

Wesley Wright

4.66 (9.2 IP)

Brett Myers

7.00 (9.0 IP)

David Carpenter

8.74 (11.1 IP)

Fernando Rodriguez

9.75 (12 IP)

Rhiner Cruz

16.2 (8.1 IP)

Wilton Lopez is out with a sprained UCL and will be throwing a bullpen shortly to determine how healthy he is. In the meantime, the Astros have been using Fernando Rodriguez and Brandon Lyon in setup roles in the bullpen. Neither have been performing well lately. F-Rod and David Carpenter have the tendency to walk too many batters and give up homeruns at non-opportune times. It is understood that both have been doing a lot better than their ERAs would suggest and thus we should expect positive regression in the future. However, both relievers are nothing more than at least average and it does raise some talk about replacing them if they continue to do poorly. Jason Stoffel is the most reliable relief pitcher in the upper minors with a 1.72 ERA, 3.35 SIERA and a 51.7% groundball rate in 31.3 IP at Corpus Christi.

2) Astros to go to a 6-man Rotation until All-Star break

The Astros announced Tuesday night that the Astros will utilize a 6-man rotation until at least the All-Star break. Dallas Keuchel will get the start Thursday and Bud Norris will come off the disabled list and get the start on Friday. The Astros will make a corresponding roster move before Friday's game to add Bud Norris back onto the active roster. Such a move will allow the Astros to evaluate the rest of the starting pitching and give them more rest since there are no more off days until the All-Star break. It also opens the door for a possibility for a trade to happen if all 6 are seen viable starting pitchers from now onward.

3) Astros call up Scott Moore.

Jeff Luhnow had this to say on Moore:

"It's a great opportunity for us to see Scott Moore," Luhnow said. "He's been absolutely delivering everything we've asked him to deliver in Oklahoma City, playing good defense. He's a versatile player and he's been hitting, hitting for power, taking walks, doing everything we asked him to do. It's great when you get an opportunity to promote a player who has done exactly what we've asked him to do."

Moore has played 3rd base most often for OKC, but has also played LF and 1B. He will likely spend most of his time as a pinch hitter since CJ, J.D. Martinez, and Carlos Lee are all doing well. This moves comes as a result of Justin Maxwell needing to have surgery to remove loose bodies in his ankle. He will be out for 4-6 weeks. On other moves, Fernando Martinez was optioned to OKC after he was reinstated from the DL and Travis Buck was designated for assignment. The Astros will have 10 days to trade, release, or place him on waivers. This move comes at only a little surprise. The Astros have a situation in which several outfielders are doing well and as a result, has rendered Buck almost useless. This is similar to the Livan Hernandez release in Spring Training of this year in which Livan was pushed aside by better performing individuals.

With the Scott Moore call-up, it makes an evermore increasing possibility that Brandon Barnes will possibly see some time this year in the majors. Moore was called up because of performance and perhaps because they wanted Fernando Martinez to get more time in Triple-A to develop, especially against left-handed pitching. Barnes is also performing well, and Schafer has struggled, especially against left-handed pitching. It may be beneficial to try out a Schafer-Barnes platoon in CF since there are currently no right-handed hitting outfielders on the club who can play CF, unless you include Brian Bixler, who can play CF, but not particularly well.

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