Houston Astros: Lefty Locks Down the Final Bullpen Spot


The Houston Astros have planned on carrying eight men in their pen. After a spring training battle, the team has finally decided on who will earn that eighth spot. Take a look below to see who won the final spot.

Houston Astros fans, the wait is almost over. We have almost made it to opening day! One of the biggest battles of spring training has been who will round out the bullpen. The team brought many arms into spring training. From Rule 5 draft pick and former outfielder Anthony Gose to incumbent left Tony Sipp, there were plenty of options. However, the majority of these options left a lot to be desired.

Sipp has been the Houston Astros’ left specialist out of the pen for the past three years. After his

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first year in Houston he was reward with a three year $18 million deal. However, the past two years for Sipp have been less than stellar.  In 2017, Sipp had a 5.79 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. So, maybe “less than stellar” was painting a better picture than it actually was. Sipp was truly awful in 2017.

However, due to his contract and pedigree the Astros were going to give him every shot to win the job. Unfortunately, this spring hasn’t been much better. Sipp has allowed five earned runs, nine hits and four walks in 7 2/3 innings this spring. In spite of this, Sipp beat out younger guys like Gose, David Paulino, Jandel Gustave, and Reymin Guduan. That left Sipp and James Hoyt.

Hoyt, however, recently sustained an oblique injury. This injury will prevent Hoyt from joing the rest of the club in Houston when they break camp on Saturday. This makes Sipp win the job out of camp.

HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 13: Chris Devenski
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 13: Chris Devenski /

Who else rounds out the pen?

The rest of the bullpen consists of Collin McHugh, Brad Peacock, Joe Smith, Hector Rondon, Will Harris, Chris Devenski, and Ken Giles. This bullpen has several dynamic arms that can come in early in a game or close one out.

McHugh, even though it is his first stint in the pen, likely will be the primary long arm to come in early. Peacock, Devenski, and Smith can fill any role Hinch may need them to fill. All three are dynamic arms with dynamic stuff.

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Rondon struggled in 2017 and hasn’t pitched much this spring, however he and the team are hoping for a bounce-back season. Harris has been Mr. Reliable for the Houston Astros for years and will fill that role again. Giles struggled in the post-season this past year, but had a phenomenal regular season. Consistency for him will be key. In actuality, consistency is the biggest factor for this entire unit. If these guys are able to develop consistency, they could turn the bullpen into yet another strength for this team.