Chad Qualls RP HOU 1 week ago

Qualls picked up his first hold of the season with a scoreless inning of relief Friday against the Rangers.

Qualls protected a 3-1 Astros' lead in the bottom of the eighth inning by retiring Leonys Martin, Jake Smolinski and Adrian Beltre on 12 pitches (nine for strikes). If your league counts holds as a scoring category, the veteran reliever should see plenty of opportunities as one of Luke Gregerson's primary setup men.

Chad Qualls RP HOU 1 week ago

Qualls struck out one during a scoreless inning of relief Thursday in his 2015 season debut.

The veteran reliever gave up a leadoff infield single to Michael Bourn, but escaped the inning without any further damage. Qualls will be one of closer Luke Gregerson's primary setup men to open 2015.

Chad Qualls RP HOU 3 weeks ago

Qualls is slated to open the year in a setup role, with Luke Gregerson named the Astros' closer Tuesday, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.

Qualls has been very good this spring, giving up just two hits with no walks and three strikeouts over 5.2 scoreless innings, but he blew three of his final seven save opportunities last year (six blown saves in total) and it seems the Astros decided Gregerson was the safer bet given his sustained success over the years. Gregerson has posted a sub-2.76 ERA in each of the last four seasons, while Qualls' mark has ranged from 2.61 to 5.33 over the same span. For his career, Gregerson has averaged 8.8 K/9 whereas Qualls has averaged 6.9 K/9, though Qualls did have a slightly better K/9 rate last year.

Chad Qualls RP HOU 1 month ago

Astros manager A.J. Hinch isn't ready to announce his closer, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Qualls is having a great spring thus far, permitting only an unearned run on two hits with no walks and two strikeouts through four Grapefruit League innings. Luke Gregerson (2.25 ERA) and Pat Neshek (3.00 ERA) have also pitched well, so assume this competition won't be settled until the end of spring training. It's possible Houston will use the three veterans in a closer-by-committee, but Qualls is the slight favorite to open 2015 in the role due to success last year (19 saves) and strong camp thus far.

Chad Qualls RP HOU 2 months ago

Qualls is expected to face competition from Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek for the Astros' closer role in spring training.

Qualls was impressive for Houston last season, posting 19 saves with a 3.33 ERA and 43:5 K:BB ratio in 51.1 innings, but Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow signed Gregerson and Neshek via free agency this offseason to give the team several experienced options for the ninth inning role. Manager A.J. Hinch has an idea of who he'd like to use in the ninth inning, but he cautioned that the decision isn't final and would be contingent on spring performance.

Chad Qualls RP HOU 7 months ago

Qualls (hip) earned his 18th save of the season Monday with a scoreless ninth inning against Cleveland.

Making his first relief appearance for the Astros since September 6 after a nagging hip injury, Qualls permitted a single and struck out a batter in the scoreless frame. The veteran reliever figures to close out the season as Houston's closer, or at least share the role with Josh Fields, who filled in during Qualls' recent absence.

Chad Qualls RP HOU 7 months ago

Qualls (hip) is available to pitch Monday if needed, Howard Chen of CSN Houston reports.

Because of the injury, Qualls has not appeared in a game since September 6. Josh Fields has been filling in as the team's closer in Qualls' absence, leaving the veteran's role as an uncertainty for the final two weeks of the season.

Chad Qualls RP HOU 7 months ago

Qualls was unavailable again Wednesday due to a nagging hip injury, MLB.com reports. "I don't know if it's a tight hip that's putting pressure on a nerve back there," Qualls said. "I get a warm feeling like in a 6-inch [region] down the side of my leg. When I sit down or lay down, it really doesn't hurt, and if I walk around, it gets irritated or something."

With Qualls' discomfort failing to subside over the course of five days, the training staff went ahead and prescribed rest for the 36-year-old right-hander. Josh Fields has collected a pair of saves since Qualls' last appearance and is the clear favorite for opportunities until Qualls returns, but lefty Tony Sipp nailed down a save Wednesday and could see chances depending on the matchups.

Chad Qualls RP HOU 8 months ago

Qualls took the loss in relief Wednesday, allowing three runs on four hits over two-thirds of an inning against the Athletics.

Qualls (1-4) has allowed 11 runs in six relief appearances against Oakland this season, going 0-3 with two saves and a 24.75 ERA in those games.

Chad Qualls RP HOU 8 months ago

Qualls will remain with the Astros for the rest of the season, MLB.com reports.

Qualls was claimed off waivers by the Tigers earlier in the week, but Wednesday's deadline for the teams to complete a trade passed without Qualls switching teams, and he can no longer be traded to any other squad. Qualls will continue working as the Astros' closer.