3. The bullpen
While there have been some questionable performances by multiple names in the Astros’ starting rotation (primarily from José Urquidy and Jake Odorizzi), every single name in their starting five has lengthy reputation of success and should bounce back.
However, the bullpen features much less experience and notable names. Ryan Pressly, the club’s best reliever and No. 1 closing option, is on the injured list with knee inflammation, leaving Hector Neris and Ryne Stanek as the top two names in the ‘pen for Houston.
Neris, Stanek, Phil Maton and Rafael Montero have been off to excellent starts but behind next to them, the Astros bullpen has been a statistical nightmare. This could be due to the fact that four of the arms in the bullpen have under two years of MLB service time.
Each of Bryan Abreu, Ronel Blanco and Pedro Baez have been off to dreadful starts and may not be long for the big league roster – as echoed here by FanSided’s Scott Rogust. With Pressly on the shelf and some of the names in the relief corp faltering, Houston should look to fill some holes and acquire a reliever or two.
Wilson, a veteran southpaw, has nearly ten years of MLB service under his belt including five trips to the postseason. With the Reds struggling badly to begin the season, odds are any players – including Wilson – who are doing well around July will be flipped.
Rainey is a similar story in Washington D.C. He throws pure filth in the form of a high-90’s fastball and a wipeout slider and has yet to give up a run to begin 2022. With the Nationals once again struggling to put a winning team on the field, Rainey could find himself on the trade market and the Astros should look to strike if/when he becomes available.
The Houston Astros have made the postseason in six of the last seven years, including three World Series appearances (one of them being a victorious effort). To begin the 2022 season, the club has not looked great and will need to make some serious adjustments if it is to make it seven of the last eight years.