In the middle of a game, just as Yu Darvish's perfect game bid goes down in flames and A.J. Pierzinski gets ejected, the Astros ship their longest-tenured member out the door.
Left-handed reliever Wesley Wright is heading to Tampa Bay for cash considerations, according to a team press release. Philip Humber has been recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take his place.
Wright was initially selected from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Rule 5 draft by then-GM Ed Wade in 2008. He pitched all of that season in Houston, throwing 55 innings with a 5.02 ERA. He then bobbed up and down from the majors to the minors for the next three seasons, as Houston even attempted to turn him into a starter (spoiler: it didn't work).
Working as a lefty specialist, though, Wright had a great season in 2012. In 52 innings, Wright struck out nine batters per nine innings and posted a 3.27 ERA that matched his FIP of 3.34 pretty closely. His numbers look worse this year, as he's thrown 41 innings with a slightly worse K rate and slightly more walks. His ERA has jumped a bit to 3.92, too.
Part of that is Wright hasn't been used as a lefty specialist this year. He has nearly as many at-bats against right-handers as lefties. Oh, and he's got a wicked reverse platoon split, where he's been much more effective against right-handers than lefties.
Still, this seems like very little return for a reliever who showed some value last season. Does Houston need cash that badly? The payroll is down to like $8 million now.
Taking Wright's spot is Philip Humber, another starter added to a team that already has six of them. Humber's first tenure with the team was disastrous, as he limped to a 9.59 ERA in 35 innings and left the team with no confidence in his pitching ability, seemingly.
Maybe things will look better this time around.
What do you think? Is there any reason for Houston to make this trade?