Change was bound to occur with the start that Houston has endured, currently sitting at 6-15 with the worst record in the American League and just 1.5 games ahead of the dreadful (and rebuilding) Atlanta Braves for the worst record in baseball. Of course, there is a bright side here and that is that the Astros are still just 5.5 games out of first place in the AL West.
According to Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle, the Astros have decided to make a change in their rotation, moving right-hander Chris Devenski into the mix for the weekend series in Oakland versus the Athletics, leaving Scott Feldman as the odd man out and available to pitch out of the 'pen starting on Friday.
Devenski, 25, has been one of the few bright spots on the staff, holding a 0.66 ERA across 13.2 innings pitched. He has struck out 12 and walked just one in his time in the big leagues. It will be interesting to see how Devenski performs as a starter in the big leagues, because even though he has had tremendous success in the early going, opposing lineups are only getting one crack at him. The Oakland offense isn't necessarily Murderer's Row, ranking 23rd in runs scored, but a warm afternoon at the Coliseum tends to see the ball fly a bit further.
Part of the reason Feldman may have been tagged as the one to exit the rotation this weekend is that he held a 6.11 ERA over 17.2 innings (3 starts) against the A's last season. A large chunk of the 12 runs he gave up to Oakland in 2015 were in an April 13 start he made in Houston when he gave up 7 earned in just five innings. The other two starts were at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and he combined to give up five runs in 12.2 innings in those two.
Kaplan is also reporting that the move is not necessarily permanent, as Feldman could return to the rotation next week, but that the Astros wanted to give Devenski a look in the rotation.
Devenski will most likely be opposed by Kendall Graveman (1-2, 4.03) who took the loss in Detroit on Monday after allowing six runs on ten hits in just 4.2 innings. Oakland's starter for Friday's game has yet to be announced, but they are expected to call up either Jesse Hahn, who missed the second half of last season due to injury and started the year in Triple-A Nashville after a poor spring training, or their top pitching prospect Sean Manaea, whom they acquired from the Royals at the trade deadline for Ben Zobrist.