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McHugh to 'switch mindset back to the bullpen'

@brianmctaggart
May 12, 2019

HOUSTON -- A day after he was moved to the bullpen, veteran right-hander Collin McHugh expressed disappointment that he wasn’t able to get enough time to get things turned around while still a member of the Astros rotation. McHugh (3-4, 6.37 ERA) went 0-4 with a 12.00 ERA in his

HOUSTON -- A day after he was moved to the bullpen, veteran right-hander Collin McHugh expressed disappointment that he wasn’t able to get enough time to get things turned around while still a member of the Astros rotation.

McHugh (3-4, 6.37 ERA) went 0-4 with a 12.00 ERA in his last four starts after starting the season 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA in his first four starts. Astros manager AJ Hinch informed McHugh a few days ago he was moving to the bullpen. No. 4 prospect Corbin Martin started Sunday’s game in his Major League debut against the Rangers in place of McHugh.

“I would have liked to have had some more outings to be able to sharpen up and get back to form like I was earlier in the season,” McHugh said. “A baseball decision was made, and part of it is probably a factor of the success I had in the ‘pen last year and the versatility I can bring down there.

“This is a really good baseball team. I would just reiterate what I’ve been saying the past two years that being able to be on this team and help this team any way possible is a privilege, and I’m excited to be able to continue to do that. Obviously, there’s disappointment mixed in, but I know the job I have to do to help the team.”

McHugh admitted his fastball command hasn’t been great all season, but felt confident about the adjustments he had made in the last week or so. Now, he’ll have to show he’s ironed things out from the bullpen, where he was so good last year. He appeared in 58 games in relief in ’18 and posted a 1.99 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP, both of which ranked fourth best among AL relievers.

“I’m a starting pitcher at heart, that’s what I’ve been preparing to do for the last six months,” McHugh said. “It’s what I’ve done up to this point in the season and now it’s time to switch my mindset back to the bullpen and hopefully help out the guys there as much as I can. Being a versatile pitcher is an asset in today’s game and hopefully I can continue to bring some value to the team this way.”

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.