Roberto Osuna Named Astros Closer for Rest of Season After Trade from Blue Jays

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 06:  Roberto Osuna #54 of the Houston Astros pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the eighth inning at AT&T Park on August 6, 2018 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch named Roberto Osuna the closer for the remainder of the 2018 MLB regular season. 

"I wanted Hector [Rondon] to know that I'm gonna start to use [him] more in the seventh and eighth, which means that Osuna's going to get the majority of save opportunities," Hinch said in an interview with MLB Network Radio (h/t ESPN.com). "But I need to use him in creative ways, too."

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#Astros manager AJ Hinch confirms on "Power Alley": Roberto Osuna is now his primary closer. #NeverSettle https://t.co/IStKWpfCJA

Rondon has been solid in ninth-inning duties, collecting a team-high 13 saves while posting a 2.36 ERA. But the Astros acquired Osuna in July for a reason. The 23-year-old right-hander averaged 32 saves with a 2.69 FIP in his first three seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, per Baseball Reference.

Osuna made 15 appearances for the Blue Jays this year before serving a 75-game suspension for a violation of MLB's domestic violence policy. Despite the suspension, Osuna would be available to pitch in the postseason should the Astros clinch a playoff berth.

Since arriving in Houston, Osuna has allowed one earned run and struck out three batters in five innings. Twice he finished games in non-save situations for the team: an 8-6 defeat to the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 9 and a 3-4 extra-innings loss to the Mariners three days later.