Chia-Jen Lo is a 26-year old right-handed reliever from Taiwan. Lo was a representative of his country at the 2008 Olympics as well as the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Lo signed with the Astros in 2009 and started his minor league career at Lancaster. Lo quickly advanced to AA Corpus Christi and was named to the World Team for the ’09 Futures Game. Lo tossed a scoreless inning of relief in the game and picked up the win.
Lo’s impressive start to his pro career got him noticed by Astros management. He was sent to the Arizona Fall League after an outstanding ’09 season to continue his development. Entering the 2010 season Lo was ranked as high as the #5 prospect in the Astros organization and was invited to big league Spring Training..
Unfortunately, 2010 didn’t go as planned. Lo ran into injury problems and appeared in only seven games on the year. More of the same in 2011 – and Lo was shut down after only two outings. He would undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the remainder of the season.
Lo’s rehab would run deep into the 2012 season. He would finally make it back, and was sent to rehab in rookie league. He was eventually bumped up to Lancaster and finished the year healthy and strong.
In order to get more playing time, Lo was again sent to the AFL after the season. While in Arizona, Lo worked as a late-inning reliever. He appeared in 14 games, earning three saves in three save opportunities. Lo looks to be fully recovered and is throwing in the mid-nineties. He also features an above-average curveball.
Having missed so much time with injuries, Lo is already entering his age 27 season. The Astros are somewhat desperate for quality relievers. That combination of factors leads me to believe that Lo could start the season at AAA with the Astros keeping an eye on him for a possible callup.