Astros make pitching move that could affect stretch run, postseason

Cristian Javier, Houston Astros. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
Cristian Javier, Houston Astros. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros have a good rotation this season that’s shown success, but messing with the system in place could impact the final stretch.

The Houston Astros have had success with their current starting rotation. They have several good pitchers, and messing with the system in place could have an impact on the final stretch.

Most recently, manager Dusty Baker announced that Christian Javier was being skipped in the rotation and could serve in a bullpen role or “piggyback” with a starter.

Javier has pitched extremely well this season. He’s produced an ERA of 2.88, a batting average against of .179 and a WHIP of 1.00. He’s consistently been one of the best starters, so it seems odd that the Astros would move him back into the bullpen, though he is relatively young still.

However, he’s proven that he can pitch well as a relief, while some other starting pitchers haven’t.

Astros: Cristian Javier has succeeded out of the bullpen before

Javier has experience as a reliever and has done well, but most starting pitchers in Houston don’t. According to Ben Silver of Inside the Astros, “Javier has made almost half his career Big League appearances in relief. He even began 2022 as a reliever, piggybacking a litany of different Astros starts.”

In 2021, Javier relieved more games than he started. He pitched 36 games total and only started nine. He had a decent season and produced an ERA of 3.55, BAA of .186 and WHIP of 1.18. Though he’s done much better as a starter this season, he still shows potential as a reliever and if the Astros need a reliever, it’s best to use one that’s had a good track record.

Particularly with the playoffs looming and World Series aspirations for Houston, having a bevy of quality arms is never a bad thing. Javier being in a utility role out of the bullpen could be an extremely valuable asset that helps the club in the long run.

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