As if the handfuls of relief pitchers the Houston Astros added over the offseason weren’t enough, now they’ve gone out and signed another pitcher in Jerome Williams. Williams may factor into the starting rotation battle but has already stated that he’s comfortable coming out of the bullpen or doing whatever is necessary to help the Astros get back on track.
Williams will join the likes of Scott Feldman, Matt Albers, Jesse Crain, Chad Qualls, Darin Downs and several more as another pitcher the Astros nabbed this offseason in the hopes of making their dreadful performance last year a thing of the past.
Last year Williams set a career high in innings pitched with 169.1 while posting a respectable 4.57 ERA with a 9-10 record in 37 games, 25 of which were starts. While those numbers don’t pop out, it is important to note that as a reliever, Williams was 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA while giving up only one home run and six walks in 30.2 innings pitched.
In all likelihood, the Astros will slot Williams into the bullpen barring a very successful spring training. He’ll join the aforementioned handful of veterans as the old guys on a staff that’s popping with young prospects who just need time.
If anything this signing just solidifies that the Astros have fully acknowledged how bad their relief pitching was last year, and they’ve done all they could and then some to ensure that they will never repeat 2013 again.
The 2014 bullpen looks to be in fine shape to finally put some games away behind the young, talented starting rotation they’ve built.