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The Astros announced on Friday that they had signed Brian Moehler to a Minor League contract and had invited him to Spring Training, and it's such a non-move that I'm actually confused as to why they bothered.

First off, any way you slice it, Moehler is a mediocre pitcher.

Brian Moehler . . .
W - L ERA Win Pct. K/9IP BB/9IP HR/9 K/BB
Since 2000 28 - 37 5.09 .431 4.9 2.3 1.16 2.10
With Astros 0 - 0 7.90 --- 3.3 4.0 2.63 0.83
Last Year 7 - 11 6.57 .389 4.3 2.8 1.40 1.53

He was lousy when he pitched for us in three games in 2003, he was lousy at Florida last year, and for the most part, he's been lousy for the entire duration of this century. In fact I bet that if he hadn't somehow pulled a 3.05 ERA out of his ass during the first half of 2005 for the Fish, Moehler would currently be looking for work with an independent league club.

Purpura tells us that Moehler is

. . . also someone we know pretty well. He's a good competitor. He's not going to wow you with plus velocity, but he knows how to pitch, he's smart, he's a good teammate.

Well, hell, you could say those same things about Carlos Hernandez, no? I know Hernandez is water under the bridge at this point, but I do remember that one of the justifications the Astros used when releasing Hernnadez was that the Astros had their AAA pitching staff set.

More to the point, if the Astros are gonna have a mediocre back half of the rotation or back half of the bullpen, I want it to be homegrown mediocre. Don't keep Matt Albers from pitching in the majors because you gave a job to Brian Moehler. And please please don't let the fact that Moehler just happened to pitch for Garner in Detroit blind you to the fact that Chris Sampson might just be a diamond in the rough.

Shit, I'd even rather see Wandy Rodriguez pitch for us than Moehler.

Nothing against Moehler, of course. I'm sure he's a great teammate like T-Purp says, and since Joe Valentine signed as a a minor league free agent with Milwaukee, Ricky Bennett and Jackie Moore might even be able to find a spot for him in the Pacific Coast League.

But he's a terrible fit for the major league Astros.

It was 3 crappy games and then Tommy John
for Moehler with the Astros in 2003.