When Roger Clemens takes the mound on Saturday for the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters the Astros will be watching closely. Jeff Luhnow will be sending a scout to the southwest Houston suburb to see how the 50 year-old Rocket looks. It has been reported that Clemens has been working out regularly and his fastball has been clocked in the upper eighties.
Jim Crane said today that the Astros could be interested in bringing Clemens back to pitch at Minute Maid Park this season.
"There are a lot of issues to consider, but I’m not ruling it out. The other thing is if we don’t do it, you know what, somebody else is going to do it. If he wants to pitch somebody else is going to do it."
The Astros starting rotation could certainly use a boost. I mean, what do they have to lose? Even at age 50, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Clemens have a good outing against big league hitters. The Cubs are coming to town a couple more times this year. That could be a good matchup for the Rocket.
Clemens made 17 starts for the Yankees back in 2007, going 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA. Prior to that, and after his first retirement, Clemens had three outstanding seasons with the Astros. In 2004, his first year in Houston, Rocket won his seventh Cy Young Award. The following year he led the league in ERA. During his time with the ‘Stros, Clemens brought an electricity to the park that was unique and has rarely been duplicated. Does he have it in him to bring it one more time?
A lot has happened since Clemens last took the mound in a big league game. Earlier this year he was cleared on perjury charges stemming from his testimony to Congress on the subject of steroids in baseball. With that nightmare behind him Clemens can now return his focus to what he loves… pitching.
All eyes will be on Clemens Saturday when he makes the start for the Skeeters. If things go well, we may see Roger back in an Astros uniform one more time.