Now Commenting On:

Ryan discusses Astros, how his son is doing in new job

Ryan discusses Astros, how his son is doing in new job

Ryan discusses Astros, how his son is doing in new job

HOUSTON -- There are few faces more synonymous with pro baseball in Texas than Nolan Ryan. So when Ryan speaks, as he did before Saturday's game between the Astros and Rangers, people listen.

Though he is the CEO of the Rangers and part of the team's ownership group, Ryan has more than a few ties to the Astros organization. He played in Houston for nine seasons, tossed the fifth of his seven career no-hitters with the club and reached the 3,000 strikeout mark as an Astro.

But his connection to the team was really renewed this season, as his son, Reid, was hired to be Astros president on May 17.

Reid is a gregarious figure for the organization, but it's still a new job, one Nolan says is becoming second nature to his son.

"With Reid, it's like anybody coming into a new position and never holding it before. It's a real learning curve," Ryan said. "He has such an enthusiasm, a passion for baseball, that I think it's been a real good fit for him. The challenge of selling his home, changing towns, of moving here and getting his kids in school, just added to the learning curve with the ballclub.

"I think he's handled it really well. If you asked him today about his comfort level and confidence, it's much higher than it was a month ago."

Ryan also spoke about the Astros' recent bullpen woes, which his team took advantage of to the tune of six late runs in a 9-5 win over Houston on Friday night.

"I can tell you, the emphasis on bullpens have changed in my career," he said. "When I went through a rebuilding process with the Angels, we had an inexperienced bullpen, but they were used totally different. You went with your starting pitchers until the end of games."

Two Astros relievers, Jorge De Leon and Kevin Chapman, made their Major League debuts on Friday, and seven of Houston's nine bullpen arms are rookies. The Astros' bullpen has an ERA of 7.46 since June 23 and has blown five of six save opportunities during the last two weeks.

"The emphasis on bullpens now is higher than ever before," Ryan said. "And I think that the Astros are asking a lot of young kids that don't have a lot of experience to step on a Major League stage, and there's challenges there. With young players, there's so much inconsistency, and I think that's what they're seeing.

"At the end of the year, their baseball department and [Houston manager] Bo Porter will have a better feel for what areas they'll need to strengthen."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Chris Abshire is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español