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Will relieve for food: The Astros' bullpen

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Injuries, poor performance and short outings by starting pitchers have placed a great deal of stress on the Astros bullpen. A look at the disabled list reads like a who's who of important relief arms: Jose Valverde, Doug Brocail, and Geoff Geary are all down for the count at least for the time being.

What happens when the relievers are in need of relief? Well, this:

IP ERA FIP HR Allowed
Saves Save Opportunities
133 5.01 5.41 22
8 18

 

All rank the Astros squarely as one of the worst bullpens in the game. More than even those number, the Astros 'pen is in the bottom ten in walks allowed, hits allowed, and K/9. Their OPS Against is a less than great .842: lots of walks, lots of homeruns- this all stands to reason.

How have the "fill in arms" fared in their stint with the Astros?

ERA FIP SLG Against K BB
Jeff Fulchino 4.61 4.95 .380 7 4
Alberto Arias 5.87 3.80 .318 8 1

 

These two have performed admirably given pre season expectations and their respective skill levels. Once Brocail, Geary and Valverde are injury free, Cecil Cooper and Ed Wade are going to have to make some tough decisions in regard to the bullpen. If they see Arias as a starter in the future, it may be best for him to go back to Round Rock and build up innings. Fulchino most likely is not part of the future of this team. He has pitched decently well so far, but he'll likely end up being just another warm body the Astros could throw out there to eat a few innings while the team circles the wagon.