On Monday, we looked at what the battle at catcher might look at this spring. Today, we'll look at who might win that elusive fifth starter spot.
Assuming that Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Scott Feldman and Brett Oberholtzer have jobs locked up, that leaves a slew of guys to battle it out for that fifth and final rotation spot. Here are the picks of the TCB staff, complete with their rationale for who will win the job.
Dan Straily: Great K-BB% rate. He's away from the Cubs who apparently misused him by
For the first couple of months, I think we will see the 5th starter rotated in and out of Fresno in order to carry an additional roster spot. So, there may effectively be two No. 5 starters who will take their turn and return to Fresno. When one of the two separates himself as the best choice, he can cease the movement between AAA and the big league team. My guess is that Straily and Buchanan will have the No. 5 slot revolving door. But this isn't an easy prediction; it's fairly wide open. And some of the candidates may not have options, which could affect the ability to carry out the AAA strategy. I also think there is a decent chance that the younger pitchers don't distinguish themselves in the spring, and Hernandez gets the swing man role in the bullpen, making a few of the early starts in the No. 5 slot.
Dan Straily clearly has the best talent among the candidates, and has
One player who I don't think has been mentioned much in the 5th starter spot is Samuel Deduno. He didn't get a lot of time to pitch here after claiming him off waivers last season. From all accounts he seems to have good stuff, including a good ground ball rate, which the Astros love. The one question about him has always been
Among the possible choices of Jake Buchanan, Samuel Deduno, Dan Straily and Roberto Hernandez, and a few others, Straily will end up making the most starts in 2015. But to start the season, my guess is Buchanan gets the nod.
At first I wanted to say Straily, but actually I'd prefer if he was handled the way Roy Oswalt was, and we let him work out of the bullpen at first to build his confidence. After he gets some quality appearances under his
I expect Straily to lock down the 5th spot after a month or so