A move is coming for the beleaguered Houston bullpen. Left-hander Tony Sipp asked the Padres for his release so he could sign a Major League contract with the Astros, according to MLB Trade Rumors and the San Diego Union-Tribune.
From the MLBTR report, we see what could be the main reason Houston is interested in Sipp:
Though the 30-year-old Sipp's ERA with San Diego's Triple-A affiliate was a somewhat pedestrian 4.30, he posted an outstanding 21-to-2 K/BB ratio in his 14 2/3 innings of work at El Paso this season.
Houston does like that strikeout to walk ratio, especially in minor league players. What also makes Sipp attractive is his southpaw-ness. The Astros only have one current lefty in the bullpen, something that EVERYONE brings up all the time. Seriously, every game I've listened to on the radio mentions this fact at least three times. Ditto the TV broadcasts I've managed to catch.
Sipp won't be a huge addition, but could be a solid get to a bullpen suffering through plenty of injuries and ineffectiveness in the past two weeks.
With the move, which has not yet been announced by the Astros, Houston will need to make room for Sipp on the 40-man roster (and the 25-man roster too). One of the injured starters could be moved to the 60-day disabled list, opening up a 40-man spot.
A good bet could be Paul Clemens being designated for assignment. Clemens is the odd man out in the bullpen, as Scott Feldman's return will force Brad Peacock back into a long-man role. Who's out when Feldman returns? Let's get through this Sipp signing first, mkay?
What do you think? Are the Astros reaching on this or did they need to bolster the bullpen?