Round 2 of the TCB Astros Fan Favorite March Madness Tournament is underway. From now until the end of Spring Training 64 players will spend the next several weeks facing off in a head to head public vote to determine who advances to the next round and who will eventually be crowned the communities favorite Astros player. For more details check out the tournament introductory post.
The rules are simple, determine which player you want to advance to the next round and then vote. Vote subjectively, objectively, using your trusty magic eight ball or any other set of criteria. It's totally up to you how you want to vote! Votes for this round will last exactly 24 hours.
In this match-up
2 - Jesse Crain
The UH-ex was signed as a free agent to shore up the bullpen. Crain was having an excellent 2013 when he was shut down with a shoulder injury. With the White Sox, Crain was among the best relief pitchers in baseball, with a 2.10 ERA and a great strike out rate over the last three years. If he is healthy, Crain may become the Astros' closer. -clack
7 - Darin Downs
One of the more under-the-radar waiver claims Houston made this offseason, Downs joins the Astros from the Tigers organization. The 27-year-old lefty has thrown 56 innings in his brief major league career, posting an uninspired 4.34 ERA. However, his peripheral stats look good and his minor league strikeout rates were also very solid. Heck, his major league strikeout rate last season was very good. In those career MLB innings, Downs has posted an FIP and xFIP nearly a run under his ERA. As long as he stays healthy, Downs is one of the biggest dark horse candidates to make the 25-man rotation in camp. -David