At least the Houston Astros are realizing that something is wrong and attempting to fix it.
Just like last year, their bullpen is absolutely horrible in every way. The Astros are rocking a 6.14 bullpen ERA, yet again good for last place by a full point. They also lead the league with an astounding 17 home runs surrendered.
However, the Astros have recently sent both Raul Valdes and Josh Fields down to Triple-A. Valdes was absolutely awful, pitching just 3.2 innings and giving up five earned runs. Fields made his atrociousness a bit more of a habit, pitching 12.0 innings and giving up 16 earned runs.
The next reliever that needs to be dropped is Jerome Williams, who lost another game following a quality start by Scott Feldman. Batters are hitting over .300 against Williams and he’s surrendered 18 earned runs in just a little over 20 innings pitched.
Darin Downs and Josh Zeid are the replacements for Fields and Valdes, and it’s safe to say they can’t do any worse, although I wouldn’t encourage them to try. The Astros still don’t have a closer, and that fact is absolutely terrifying. With Jesse Crain on the DL, that closer role appears to have no savior in the near future. Chad Qualls is the current suitor for the role, but he’s got a 10.12 ERA in the ninth inning.
I’ve said it before, the Astros have no other option, they have to get a closer or this season is going to be another 100-plus loss season. The Astros cannot have that yet again.