Alex White, originally acquired from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for reliever Wilton Lopez and Jose Monzon in 2012, has returned from Tommy John surgery and intends to compete for a spot in the Houston Astros rotation. There is a glut of options to fill out the fourth and fifth spots for the Astros, so White will have his work cut out for him.
White, 26, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012, and even then his numbers weren’t terribly impressive. With Colorado, he pitched in 23 games (20 starts) compiling a 2-9 record and a 5.51 ERA. Call it the elevation if you’d like, but those aren’t numbers that’ll crack this Astros’ rotation.
After recovering from surgery late last season, Alex White was able to get some innings in at Oklahoma City. where he made 25 appearances (10 starts), but didn’t fare much better. In Triple-A, he went 3-6 with a 6.50 ERA and an awful 1.712 WHIP. His command has been lacking, averaging 4.4 walks per nine innings in 2014, while holding a 4.6 mark in the majors in parts of two seasons.
As it stands right now, White will be in competition with Dan Straily, Brett Oberholtzer, Asher Wojciechowski, Sam Deduno, Brad Peacock, Jake Buchanan and non-roster invitee Roberto Hernandez. The front-runners from this group are Straily and Oberholtzer, but with a strong spring Wojo could make a case for himself, and once healthy, Peacock would be another solid option.
There there is Mark Appel, who likely won’t make the team out of camp, but if he performs well in Fresno to start the season Jeff Luhnow could be quick to call him up.
It will take a very impressive spring from Alex White to break through this assortment of talent and into the rotation in Houston, but wherever the cards fall, we’ll be rooting for White, coming off of injury, wherever his road takes him.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer