May 4, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Parker Mushinski (67) pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Astros Player of the Day: Parker Mushinski

Welcome to the Gallery Sports’ Houston Astros Spring Training player spotlight: Astros Player of the Day. We will look at a different Astros player each day throughout the spring.

Today’s Astros Player of the Day is relief pitcher Parker Mushinski.

Mushinski, a Texas native, was drafted by the Astros with the 211th pick in the 2017 draft after finishing his college career at Texas Tech. In his final year of college ball, he appeared in 23 games posting a 2.45 ERA while striking out 50 over 36.2 innings.

He remained at the Single-A level of Houston’s farm system for his first few seasons but made strides in 2021 when he moved up to Double-A and eventually graduated to Triple-A in August of that year. He was invited to Spring Training last year and impressed enough that when the bullpen experienced injuries early in the 2022 season, he was called up and made his MLB debut on April 17.

He appeared five times in that stint in the bullpen before getting shuffled back to Sugar Land. Houston would bring the lefty back up two more times, with Mushinksi tossing an inning on June 6 and another on July 23, both scoreless outings. Meanwhile, for the Space Cowboys, he appeared in 38 games in 2022, finishing the year with a 2.66 ERA over 40.2 innings, with 41 strikeouts and a 1.156 WHIP.

Mushinski relies most heavily on four pitches, tossing his curveball frequently but also using a cut and four-seam fastball along with a slider, with a pretty even distribution among the four pitches, though with the Astros in 2022 used his curve 32.4% of the time. Although he will likely continue to be used in left-on-left matchups, in the small sample size he produced last year, he actually performed better against right-handed batters rather than lefties, holding righties to a .143 average versus .250 of lefties.

This spring, though, Mushinksi has been sidelined with back spasms and has yet to return to action, putting his path to making the Opening Day roster in even more jeopardy than it may have already been. If and when he can return, though, he will be a depth piece Houston could turn to should the Astros need to bring a left-handed reliever into the fold.

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