The MLB Trade deadline is Tuesday, and the Houston Astros have been aggressive on a number of fronts.
One is First Base, where long-time star Yuli Gurriel has been having a down year at age 38. The other front, where Houston may be surprisingly less aggressive than expected, is left-handed relief pitching.
A league source tells KPRC 2 Sport’s Ari Alexander that the Astros and Dodgers have called the Miami Marlins to engage on All-Star first baseman Garrett Cooper, but the Marlins are reluctant to deal him. Cooper is under team control until 2024. He’s battled a number of injuries, and is currently on the 10-day IL with a right wrist contusion after being hit by a pitch Saturday, but when healthy has been one of the best bats in the Marlins lineup the past few seasons. Cooper has an OPS+ of 118 this year and a career OPS+ of 116. Cooper is batting .279 with 7 home runs and 40 RBI.
On left-handed relief pitching, a league source tells Alexander the Astros feel good about their internal options in the bullpen and may not go after a left-handed reliever just to go after a left-handed reliever.
Ryne Stanek, who has been one of the best relievers in the majors has reverse splits this season, giving up a minuscule slash line of .128/.222/.149 vs. left-handers, while right-handers are hitting .194/.314/.292.
Hector Neris, another right-hander, also has reverse splits, giving up a slash line of .167/.221/.222 to lefties, while righties bat .218/.307/.410 off him.
Phil Maton, who the Astros deployed vs. left-handers in the 2021 postseason, is also slightly better against lefties than righties in 2022.