How Ronel Blanco's breakout performance impacts Astros depth outlook, reinforcement needs

LOOKING AHEAD

How Ronel Blanco's breakout performance impacts Astros depth outlook, reinforcement needs
Blanco blanks the Blue Jays! Composite Getty Image.

Coming off a four-game sweep courtesy of the Yankees, the Houston Astros were looking to get back on track against the Blue Jays on Monday night.

And boy did they ever. The offense erupted for ten runs and Ronel Blanco tossed his first career no-hitter.

And on top of that, Yainer Diaz proved that the Astros don't need Martin Maldonado to handle the pitching staff and catch no-hitters. He's perfectly capable of doing that himself.

Plus, Diaz blasted two home runs along with Kyle Tucker, which allowed the Astros to take a commanding lead. And without a big lead late in the game, manager Joe Espada may not have allowed Blanco to stay in the game for nine innings. But with a 10 run lead and a pitch count that wasn't out of hand, Espada was able to roll the dice on Blanco to finish the job.

Just another perfect example of when the Astros are down, get ready, because something epic is about to happen. Champions don't stay down for long. Throwing no-hitters to galvanize the team is starting to be a trend for the 'Stros. Cristian Javier's combined no-hit performance in Game 4 of the World Series is another example. The Astros were down two games to one, and Javier helped evened the series with a masterful performance. The Astros won the next two games, and the rest is World Series history.

Help is on the way

In the second part of the video, we discuss some potential reinforcements that Astros can turn to as the season progresses. Justin Verlander and Jose Urquidy are working their way back from injury, and JV pitched a three inning simulated game that went well. His next stop could be Corpus Cristy or Sugar Land to make some rehab starts in the minors.

Urquidy is at least playing catch and not shut down from throwing, so hopefully he won't be too far behind Verlander. And with all the starters looking good outside of Framber Valdez, Houston should be able to hold down the fort until Verlander and Urquidy return.

Plus, if the club does need another arm to supplement the bullpen or rotation, Spencer Arrighetti is available to be promoted from Sugar Land.

One to watch

If there's one player that should cause some concern for the team, however, it has to be Jose Abreu. He may have gotten his first hit of the season on Monday night, but he looks outmatched in almost every at-bat.

Jon Singleton doesn't look like the answer at first base either, so Joey Loperfido could get an opportunity sooner rather than later if Abreu continues to struggle.

Be sure to watch the video above as we discuss expectations from Blanco moving forward, Jeremy Pena's power surge, Tucker and Diaz looking the part, and much more!

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Jose Abreu looks lost at the plate.Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

We're only 14 games into the Astros season, but Jose Abreu is currently hitting .081 and has been moved down to the eight spot in the batting order. Is the end of Jose Abreu's time with the Astros approaching? Should it be already?

Don't miss the video above as ESPN Houston's Jeremy Branham and Joel Blank discuss his slow start to the season, and future with the club.

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