Going back to recent years in my mind, I didn’t remember a long-term closer pitching for the Astros, that is, a pitcher who saves for Houston for at least three years in a row. I needed to go to Stathead and search for it.
Since 2000, the only pitchers to close for the Astros for at least three consecutive years are Billy Wagner and Brad Lidge. The latter compiled 122 saves in H-Town from 2004 to 2007. Since those two’s stints, it’s been name after name for the squad.
After Lidge’s departure, 11 men have saved a minimum of 15 games...
Those are: José Valverde in 2008 and 2009, Brandon Lyon and Matt Lindstrom in 2010, Mark Melancon in 2011, Brett Myers in 2012, José Veras in 2013, Chad Qualls in 2014, Luke Gregerson in 2015 and 2016, Ken Giles in 2016 and 2017, Héctor Rondón in 2018 and Roberto Osuna in 2019.
Could Pressly do it?
It seems Ryan Pressly will get the chance to close for the Astros in 2021, after the team has implied several times that it won’t go after any established closer on the open market and may not have the money it’d take to sign one. The only exception in terms of rumors so far has been Liam Hendricks, who I don’t think the Astros can afford at this time, especially with their huge outfield voids.
Pressly wasn’t bad in ‘20 despite an off start. He saved 12 games this year and is under contract through next season, with an affordable vesting/club option for 2022. Right now, Dusty Baker, James Click, and the whole team are praying for Pressly to maintain and be successful in his new role.
Especially if Pressly comes through and the Astros exercise his option for 2022, he could sit next to Lidge and Wagner as the only long-term closers for the Astros thus far this century.