The Astros They are one victory away from claiming the AL West title that would secure a Division Series showdown with the Chicago White Sox in playoffs. That series could see one of Houston’s most prominent pitchers working on reliever quality and not at the beginning, as it has been throughout his long career in MLB.
We mean the veteran Zack greinke, who landed on the 10-day disabled list last week due to neck pain, his second trip to the freezer this month. Houston manager Dusty Baker said he expects his pitcher to wrap up the regular season with a rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Sugar Land. When asked about Greinke’s potential role in the postseason, Baker said using him as a reliever is “a very clear possibility.”
The use of Greinke in shorter periods would be motivated mainly by concerns about the workload. The veteran right-hander has made just two major league starts this month. With the postseason beginning next week, there are concerns Greinke may not be able to go back to working more than 100 pitches at a traditional start.
Even regardless of injury limitations, it’s debatable whether his performance warrants a top-three or top-four spot in the Astros’ rotation this fall. Greinke’s 4.11 ERA ranks fifth among Houston’s six starters (minimum 50 innings).