Five was enough.
After four abysmal outings mixed in with one decent one, the Astros have pulled the plug on Nelson Figueroa as the fifth starter. He heads to the bullpen with a 8.28 ERA, after allowing 37 hits in 25 innings. It was a nice story for Figueroa to finally break camp with a big league roster, but it’s clear that he just doesn’t have the stuff to work out of the rotation at this point in his career.
He’ll be replaced in the rotation by Rule V pick Aneury Rodriguez. After struggling to start the year, Rodriguez has turned in six outings where he hasn’t allowed more than a run out of the bullpen, four of them were scoreless. It’s hardly a ringing endorsement for Rodriguez given how poorly Figueroa was pitching, but he’ll have a chance to impress the brass as they wait to see when top prospect Jordan Lyles will be ready to get called up to the big leagues.
Rodriguez was 6-5 with a 3.7 ERA as a starter for the AAA Durham Bulls last season, striking out 94 in 113 2/3rd innings and allowing just 104 hits.