Devenski struck out one and did not allow a hit in a scoreless two-thirds of an inning in Tuesday's 9-1 win over the Athletics. Devenski mopped up the final two outs for his third scoreless outing in five appearances. Tuesday's effort was the first of the five in which the right-hander did not allow a baserunner. Devenski will be used in low-to-mid leverage situations out of the bullpen and has posted an 8:1 K:BB though six innings.
Devenski allowed one run on three hits and struck out three over two innings in a 3-1 loss to the Rays on Saturday. Devenski entered to pitch the seventh inning with the Astros down a run and threw one clean inning before getting nicked for a run in the eighth. The right-handed reliever made a name for himself in 2017, delivering a high strikeout rate as a multi-inning reliever. He was on his way to a repeat performance in 2018, albeit without the multi-inning appearances, before a midseason hamstring injury derailed him. Earlier this spring, Devenski told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com that he learned about the process of being prepared daily and to take measures to ensure his body is ready to pitch as much as possible. His first outing of 2019 was an encouraging sign he'll be used as he was in 2017. "He fits right into our bullpen anywhere from early for a couple of innings or all the way to the back end if guys are needing a break," manager A.J. Hinch said.
Devenski allowed one hit and struck out one in one inning Friday against the Cardinals. Looking at Devenski's spring numbers are misleading. His 8.31 ERA appears ugly, but all four runs he's allowed came in his first outing. Since then, Devenski has pitched four scoreless innings and worked to get himself back to the form he showed in 2017 when he was dubbed the "Dragon." Earlier this spring, manager AJ Hinch told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com that he wanted Devenski to air it out and not be too cute. "We really wanted to get him away from thinking too much and get him into Dragon mode, basically," he said. "Let him come and show a ton of energy, get through the ball, let the ball go wherever it goes and not get overly complicated." The 28-year-old reliever will be a weapon out of the bullpen if rediscovers the 2017 version of himself.
Devenski's arbitration case was settled with the Astros, and he's slated to make $1.525 million in 2019, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. Devenski asked for $1.65 million, and Houston was willing to give him $1.4 million, so the case was settled at $1.525 million. The contract includes a club option for the 2020 season and includes the option of a base increase in 2020 dependent upon how many games in which he appears this year. After posting a solid 2.68 ERA through 80.2 frames in 2017, Devenski took a step back in 2018, accruing a 4.18 ERA with 51 punchouts over 47.1 innings.
Devenski devoted the offseason to re-working the mechanics of his delivery, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. Devenski, an All-Star in 2017, watched his ERA balloon to 4.18 in 2018, when he was relegated to work in games that already were decided and was left off both of Houston's postseason rosters. Video study revealed some "issues here and there," per the right-handed reliever, specifically with his legs and hips. Devenski has yet to throw a bullpen session, so we may need to wait until spring training to learn whether the mechanical adjustments return him to his 2017 form.