The moves keep coming for the Houston Astros, who added two more bullpen arms this week. It was obviously a position sorely needed as their bullpen ranked at or near the bottom of every statistical category. Darin Downs and Raul Valdes had already been added to aide the ailing pen, now Anthony Bass and former Astro Chad Qualls join them.
Bass was acquired in a deal that involved mostly cash, players to be named later and Rule-5 Draft picks. He’s made sporadic appearances in the majors, possessing a 3.64 ERA out of the bullpen. An ERA like that should make Houston Astros’ nation salivate, as the 2013 bullpen posted a combined 5.00+ ERA throughout the horrendous year.
Qualls had already spent time with Houston, helping them to their first and only World Series appearance in 2005. GM Jeff Luhnow has already stated that all bullpen roles are open to anyone, so if Qualls continues his run of form, he could set himself up to be closer.
Even with the additions of Bass and Qualls, however, the Astros are still in need of more bullpen help. It pretty much comes down to that no matter how many additions are made, it won’t be enough until proven.
Rumors are swirling that Jose Veras could be headed back to Houston, and that would be a huge step up. Veras was the sole reliable reliever throughout the better part of the 2013 year until he was traded to the Detroit Tigers. From the Astros’ standpoint, the more arms they add, the better. Some of them have to come through.