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Astros History: Claude Raymond

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Time to explore how volatile relievers can be.

October 10, 1963, the Houston Colt .45's and the New York Mets held another draft. Why you might ask, because both teams were so terrible that Major League Baseball decided to hold another "expansion" draft, only this time it was called a special draft.

One of those players drafted was Claude Raymond, a reliever with a 4.34 Earned Run Average in 120.1 innings pitched for the Milwaukee Braves. Those numbers calculate out to an ERA+ of 82. In four years with Houston Raymond would post an ERA+ of 114, that works out to a 2.98 ERA in 299 innings pitched. Every year with Houston he would post an ERA+ above 100. His best year was arguably his 1964 season in which he posted a 122 ERA+ in 79.2 innings.

in 1965, at the age of 28, Houston used him as a starter seven times with good results. In seven starts he posted a 2.52 ERA in 50 innings of work. Those would be the only starts in his career. I'm not quite sure why they didn't continue to try him out as a starter, maybe one of our more experienced readers would be able to shed some light on this. Still Raymond provide to be a reliable and effective reliever for the Astros in the mid 60's. He would be traded Braves, who at this point had move to Atlanta, for Wade Blasingame during the 1967 season.

He had some early success with the Braves, but ultimately never again had the same success he had in Houston.