How Houston Astros GM can put his foot down on Montero situation

Houston Astros relief pitcher Rafael Montero is going through a rough patch, well that might be putting it mildly. With the All-Star break on the horizon, Montero is coming up on a shockingly bad first half of the season.

He currently has the worst ERA of all qualified relief pitchers in MLB (7.76), and he can no longer be counted on to protect a lead. Yet, manager Dusty Baker continues to play him in high leverage situations with little to no success. At least in Montero's case.

So how do the Astros fix him? The team isn't going to cut Montero, he has a boatload of money left on his contract. And relief pitchers are inconsistent by nature, having good years after bad ones regularly. But this just isn't a bad year for Montero, he's unplayable at this point if you ask anyone outside of Dusty.

The team also can't just ship him to Triple A, he's out of options. Astros GM Dana Brown certainly has his hands full. He didn't sign Montero, owner Jim Crane did. And you have to think Baker had some role in the offseason, with no GM steering the ship during free agency. So he has to be careful with this situation as to not ruffle any feathers.

His best bet may be coming up with a fake injury and working on getting Montero fixed on the backfields of a minor league facility. This would also remove him from the active roster, and Baker couldn't be tempted to use him in a game.

Montero needs to come up with a quality secondary pitch to get batters out. Per the Houston Chronicle, Montero's four-seam fastball is an effective pitch. Batters are hitting only .238 against it. But against all of his other pitches, batters are hitting a whopping .405.

Nobody said figuring out this situation would be easy, but the team cannot continue to run Montero out on the field. This isn't 2022, winning the AL West will be much more difficult this year with the Rangers and Angels playing significantly better baseball.

It's time to earn your money, Dana Brown. Good luck, we're counting on you.

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After another poor performance from former Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson, the Cleveland Browns' season is starting to look like an uphill climb. Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb is out for the year, and Cleveland fans aren't too pleased with the way Watson is playing, especially considering the massive contract extension he signed with the team. And we didn't even get to the off the field drama that comes with Watson.

However, Houston fans are invested in the Browns' season outcome as well, with the Texans holding the Browns' first round pick in 2024, and having sent their own first rounder to the Cardinals in the Will Anderson trade.

So each loss for the Browns, means a better draft pick for the Texans!

For Houston, it looks like they have their QB of the future in CJ Stroud. And he'll be on a less expensive rookie contract for the next several years, giving the Texans more cap space to upgrade the roster.

With all of this in mind, is it fair to question if the Texans dodged a bullet when Watson demanded a trade?

DeMeco Ryans vs. Lovie Smith

Plus, we're only two games into the season, but Lovie Smith's defense was much better (with a similar roster) than what DeMeco Ryans' defense has shown thus far, and DeMeco has the benefit of Will Anderson rushing the QB.

Are the struggles on defense more about the roster GM Nick Caserio has put together, or does this slow start fall on DeMeco?

Don't miss the video above as we break it all down!

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