Gustavo Chacin has signed a minor-league contract with the Houston Astros. Chacin made a career high 44 appearances last season and posted an ERA of 4.70 and held lefties to a .323 average. As far as I can tell, the man with the coolest name in baseball was offered a contract for any number of 5 reasons:
He posted a 1.96 ERA over his last 12 appearances
He’s Left-handed and the Astros are thin in that area
He’s a serviceable major-league reliever
He’s the Astros best hitter
I’m betting on that last one. In 2010, Chacin became just the 5th player ever to hit a homerun in every at-bat. He also posted the second highest OPS+ of all-time at 1198. No one else on the Astros 2010 roster posted an OPS+ higher than 120. Now naysayers will point out Chacin only received 1 at-bat in 2010 but if you project his stats over, say, 44 at-bats (or one per appearance) he would have hit 44 homeruns. The Astros team leader in that category was Hunter Pence with 25. How many teams have a guy who can hit 40+ bombs and serve as a decent left-handed reliever and spot starter? That would be one. The Houston Astros.