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Astros Crawfish Boil: November 20, 2022

Another offseason day.

MLB: World Series-Philadelphia Phillies at Houston Astros Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Just 98 more days until the Astros take the field.

It’s a little early for a pre-game thread, but just for your own planning purposes they’ll be playing half of the New York Mets.

Astros News

Josh James was non-tendered a contract by the arbitration deadline, freeing the reliever to talk to whoever he wants to.

Meanwhile, everyone else was offered a deal.

Several of Houston’s Dominican-born pitchers visited the DSL Astros.

Could the Astros be targeting Andrew McCutchen?

MLB News

ZiPS is imminent.

MLBTR is keeping track of all the minor moves this offseason.

Rob Manfred has seemingly lied to the Cubs regarding an All-Star Game appointment.

The Atlanta Braves are going public. Do you want to be a team owner?

Jimmy Fallon and Aaron Judge surprised fans in NYC.

The Angels got third baseman Gio Urshela for a minor league pitcher.

Oops! All Astros: Nic Swanson

Nic Swanson is a six-foot-two, 180 lb. right-handed pitcher from Tulsa, OK. Born on July 8, 1999, he was a 16th-round pick of the Astros in 2021. Taken 478th overall, Swanson would only be the second to make it to the majors from the spot. The first was Kevin Ginkel. Taken out of Northeastern State University, Swanson signed a contract with Houston that included a $125,000 bonus. After the draft, he pitched eight innings at the rookie level with the FCL Astros.

The 2022 campaign would see Swanson spend the entire season at the Low-A level with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers. His appearances were evenly divided between starts and relief outings, with a dozen apiece.

Houston’s goal with some of these younger pitchers isn’t necessarily to stretch them out so they can go seven innings. I think that’s a thing of the past now, for good or not. Resultingly, Swanson never had an outing longer than five innings, but also never less than two. He had his best stuff on June 18, when he whiffed nine Cannon Ballers in four one-hit, shutout innings in a 5-3 win against Kannapolis.

Swanson pitched 83 innings in total, going 3-4 with a 4.99 ERA. Although he walked 50, he also struck out 93, good for 10.1 K/9. Opponents touched him for a .248/.359/.455 slashline, and stole 12-of-15 bases off him. He finished the year with a 1.542 WHIP.

Interestingly, Swanson showed a greater propensity to excel as a starter, WHIPping 1.307 versus a mark of 1.844 as a reliever. It wasn’t a small sample size either as these things go, with 46 23 frames versus 36 13.

The Astros saw what they needed to out of Nick this season, and should promote him to the High-A Asheville Tourists for 2023.