A couple of low-wattage rumors recently
Zito hasn't been good for a few years and doesn't have any of the peripheral numbers to suggest he'd return to form. On a minor league invite, it wouldn't hurt anything, as Zito could be "experienced" depth.
Source: Joe Thatcher in talks with 10+ clubs, with
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) February 12, 2015
decision likely to come soon. Veteran LHRP still a free agent.
Thatcher's a lefty. Houston doesn't have many lefties in the bullpen. In fact, right now, they have Tony Sipp and Kevin Chapman, though Chapman may not really have a spot.
Thatcher, though, could give Houston another lefty to pair with Sipp or Chapman in the 'pen. Of course, Houston may not view Sipp as a LOOGY candidate and might pencil him into the late innings as well. If that's the case, could they carry three lefties in the bullpen, with Fields, Qualls, Neshek and Gregerson rounding out the group?
Thatcher also has San Diego connections, like Gregerson before him, that could be intriguing for new Astros manager A.J. Hinch. Last season, Thatcher threw 30 innings with a 3.86 ERA and 27 strikeouts with four walks. He's got a career walk rate of 7.7 percent and a career strikeout rate of 24 percent, though that dipped to 20 percent last season.
His average fastball velocity has dipped from around 88.5 MPH with the Padres to 86 MPH last season and he mainly features that two-seamer with a slider.
What do you think? Will Thatcher improve the bullpen?