Sergio Escalona made his big league debut with the Phillies, appearing in 14 games in the 2009 season. After spending all of 2010 with Philadelphia’s AA affiliate in Reading, Escalona was traded to the Astros in the off-season. Ed Wade sent infielder Albert Cartwright to his former team in exchange for Escalona. Cartwright missed all of last season with a torn achilles tendon. Escalona performed well at AAA Oklahoma City and was a mid-season call up for the Astros.
Originally a starter in the low minors, Escalona seems to have found his niche as a left-handed specialist with the Astros. Escalona pitched a total of 27 & 2/3 innings in 49 big league relief outings. The 27 year-old Venezuelan held lefties to a .188 batting average. (12 for 64) Overall Escalona had a 2-1 record, a 2.93 ERA, and a 1.265 WHIP. Escalona’s fastball tops out in the low nineties. He also features a slow curve and his changeup is probably his best pitch. The Astros will probably carry two lefty relievers on their roster to start the season. When Spring Training rolls around Fernando Abad, Wesley Wright, and Escalona will be in a wide open competition for those two spots. Wright finished strong in 2011 and Abad had a disappointing year.