Cristian Javier has been one of the Astros many young talents over the course of the last two seasons. As Houston gets ready for the start of the regular season, the Astros have some decisions to make, including the proper place for Javier. Here are some reasons why he belongs in the Houston bullpen.
Javier, 25, is entering his third season in the major leagues since being signed as an amateur free agent by the Astros. in 2020, Javier was used in the starting rotation often but did some of his best work out of the bullpen.
He boasted 5-2 record, 3.48 earned run average, 54 strikeouts, and .994 WHIP while appearing in only 12 regular-season games.
In 2021, Javier was used in the bullpen more often than as a starter and gave the Astros what they needed. He would normally pitch two to four innings of relief, most notably his outing against the White Sox in the Division Series, going two and two-thirds innings and striking out out six batters.
Javier’s stats during the 2021 season were respectable: 4-1 record, 3.55 ERA, 130 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.184.
So far in spring training, Javier has appeared in one game, giving up one walk and striking out three batters in two innings of work.
So why should the Astros move Javier to the bullpen permanently?
If you subtract Javier out of the potential starting rotation, it’s still pretty good, consisting of: Justin Verlander, Lance McCullers Jr, Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia, Jose Urquidy, and possibly Jake Odorizzi should Houston choose to go with a six-man rotation.
Cristian Javier gives the Astros the option to put in a pitcher who can go the same length into a game that a starter can but out of the bullpen, much like Jake Odorizzi. The move enables the Astros not to have to use lots of bullpen arms in a game.
Should the Astros decide to make this move, it will only do good things for them. The bullpen struggled often throughout the season, but Houston can fix that by letting guys like Odorizzi and Javier lead the bullpen.
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