The Houston Astros bullpen might have lost another big name on Saturday, as closer Roberto Osuna exited in the ninth inning with an apparent injury.
After allowing a one-out single to Los Angeles Angels infielder Luis Rengifo with a 4-3 lead, Osuna signaled for a mound visit and was soon out of the game. Cy Sneed entered the game for Osuna and promptly allowed a game-tying RBI double to Jason Castro. The Astros went on to lose 5-4 in the 10th inning.
Astros manager Dusty Baker told reporters after the game that Osuna felt discomfort in his arm and is headed back to Houston for an MRI.
“Osuna felt discomfort in his arm, and so we’re sending him back to Houston to get it checked and to get an MRI. So we really don’t know yet. I mean, it’s a real downer when he signals you to come out. You’re like ‘Boy, that’s not the news you want to hear.’ We just have to wait until after he sees the doctors.”
Typically not the tone you want to hear about a team’s top reliever, especially when Osuna might have been the Astros’ only reliever with a dependable track record left in the bullpen.
Astros bullpen dealing with a lot right now
Here are the Astros’ top 10 pitchers in relief innings from last year, when they ranked second in reliever ERA:
Chris Devenski - on IL with elbow soreness.
Roberto Osuna - awaiting MRI on arm.
Josh James - moved to rotation.
Will Harris - signed with Nationals.
Hector Rondon - signed with Diamondbacks.
Ryan Pressly - active
Framber Valdez - moved to rotation.
Collin McHugh - signed with Red Sox.
Joe Smith - opted out of season.
Cy Sneed - active
As Tyler Kepner of The New York Times noted, only three of the 10 pitchers the Astros used in last year’s World Series are still healthy and playing for the Astros: Zach Greinke, Ryan Pressly and James. Pressly made his return to the mound on Saturday after dealing with elbow soreness, but had to leave early due to a cut on his thumb.
With their bullpen depleted, the Astros will be leaning on a group of rookies like Sneed, Bryan Abreu, Brandon Bailey, Enoli Paredes and Blake Taylor to hold down the later innings.
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