The Astros have claimed left-hander Wade LeBlanc off waivers from the Miami Marlins. LeBlanc will join the team Sunday in Kansas City.
This move is a bit puzzling, to say the least. LeBlanc, a second round pick by the Padres in the 2006 draft, hasn’t pitched well enough this season to stick with the last place Marlins. After going 0-5 with a 6.11 ERA in seven starts, LeBlanc was sent to the Miami bullpen. As a reliver, his struggles continued. Even after LeBlanc finally put together a couple of decent outings his last two times to take the mound, the Marlins still decided to place him on waivers.
The 28-year old is the definition of a soft-tossing lefty. LeBlanc’s average fastball velocity sits at 86 for the season, which is pretty much in line with his career average. He also features a cutter, curveball, and changeup.
The Astros have been playing better lately, but the bullpen has still been a problem. As Bo Porter continues to search for answers in the ‘pen, LeBlanc will be given a chance to prove he still belongs in the big leagues. Adding LeBlanc to the active roster means someone else has to go. My guess is that Paul Clemens is sent to Oklahoma City — since he still has options remaining.
The possibility also exists that Wesley Wright could be designated for assignment. Wright, also a lefty, has struggled mightily of late.