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Minor League Position Review: Relief Pitcher

See how the young relievers performed in 2022.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros
ul 2, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Enoli Paredes (48) delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels during the ninth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

This week we will move onto the relief pitching position. The Astros still employ the piggyback system so some of the pitchers may have some starts as well.

Previous Position Reviews:


First Base

Second Base

Third Base


Left Field

Center Field

Right Field

Starting Pitcher


Enoli Paredes

Paredes broke onto the scene in the COVID season with a strong 2020. He struggled a bit since but this year got it going in Triple-A. The right-hander posted a 2.63 ERA with 81 K in 54.2 innings. He also held hitters to just a .176 BAA. He had some walk issues but if he can get them under control he can be another impact guy in the Astros bullpen.

2022 Stats: 50 G, 2.63 ERA, 54.2 IP, 34 H, 16 ER, 31 BB, 81 K, 13.3 K/9

Devin Conn

Conn had a solid year in 2022. The 25-year-old pitched the majority of the season in Double-A where he had a 2.92 ERA in 52.1 innings. He was promoted to Triple-A where he had a 3.86 ERA in 14 innings. He won’t blow guys away but did well limiting hits in his relief appearances.

2022 Stats: 46 G, 3.12 ERA, 66.1 IP, 49 H, 23 ER, 31 BB, 52 K

Nick Hernandez

Hernandez had a dominant 2022 season. While the ERA may seem a little high, he was nearly unhittable allowing just 38 hits in 64 innings. He also struck out 85 in 64 innings, good for a 12.0 K/9. Hernandez elected free agency at the end of the season so it is unsure where he will end up.

2022 Stats: 51 G, 3.66 ERA, 64.0 IP, 38 H, 26 ER, 31 BB, 85 K, 12.0 K/9

Ronel Blanco

Blanco also put together a strong 2022. The right-hander struck out 58 in 44.2 innings while posting a 3.63 ERA in Triple-A. He made his major league debut too throwing 6.1 innings. This winter, Blanco put together a great winter season posting a 0.00 ERA with 27 K in 20.2 innings.

2022 Stats: 44 G, 3.63 ERA, 44.2 IP, 35 H, 18 ER, 19 BB, 58 K, 11.7 K/9

Parker Mushinski

Mushinski flew under the radar but with the lack of left handers in the system, he should get a chance to crack the major league roster. In 2022 he had a 2.66 ERA with 41 K in 40.2 innings in Triple-A. This will be a big spring training for him.

2022 Stats: 38 G, 2.66 ERA, 40.2 IP, 28 H, 12 ER, 19 BB, 41 K


Matt Ruppenthal

Ruppenthal had an up and down year but excelled with the strikeout as he K’d 87 in just 63.2 innings, good for 12.3 K.9.

2022 Stats: 45 G, 4.95 ERA, 63.2 IP, 49 H, 35 ER, 43 BB, 87 K, 12.3 K/9

Derek West

West made it up to Double-A in 2022 and had a decent season striking out 68 in 54.2 innings. He also had a nice winter as he gets ready for 2023.

2022 Stats: 39 G, 4.45 ERA, 54.2 IP, 50 H, 27 ER, 34 BB, 68 K, 11.2 K/9

Jonathan Sprinkle

Big time strikeouts, but walked too many too. Sprinkle has the stuff to get guys out but just has to dial it in a little bit.

2022 Stats: 39 G, 5.88 ERA, 49.0 IP, 44 H, 34 ER, 34 BB, 70 K, 12.9 K/9

Jacob Coats

Coats is a hard thrower but the walks hurt him. He struck out 64 in 49 innings and can hopefully build on that next year.

2022 Stats: 32 G, 5.69 ERA, 49.0 IP, 47 H, 31 ER, 39 BB, 64 K, 11.8 K/9


The Astros bullpen is set but the pen is always needing help. Some of these guys may get a chance or some starters will convert. The Astros have some good arms in the minors though.