Houston Astros Rotation Competition: Wojo Versus Straily

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A few days ago, Brian McTaggart sent out a tweet suggesting that Houston Astros rotation hopeful Asher Wojciechowski is turning heads this spring, and could be the team’s fifth starter when the season begins.

Today being Sunday, Wojo got his look as the starter and performed extremely well. Again, according to McTaggart, Wojciechowski went four scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks on 69 pitches. Adding today’s totals to what he had previously accumulated, the righty has now pitched nine innings, allowed six hits and three walks. The kicker? He has yet to allow a run.

For the sake of comparison, let’s take a look at Dan Straily. Through two starts, Straily has five innings and has allowed three more runs than Wojo–so three–on seven hits. While the early returns definitely point to Wojciechowski, Straily is also trying to work a curveball into his arsenal, which could make him more effective as spring progresses.

Depending on what the Houston bullpen looks like on coming out of camp, both players could potentially make the 25-man roster to start the season, with one player being the fifth starter and the other being the long relief option.

That said, when Brad Peacock returns from injury, he’ll likely get a shot to enter the rotation as well, which means the early returns on both of these players once the season begins could determine who stays with the team at that time.

While Peacock hasn’t been lights out in his time in the majors, his career numbers are very similar to Straily’s. Peacock has 227 innings pitched in the bigs and has accumulated a 4.68 ERA, while Straily has 243 2/3 innings with a 4.54 ERA. With these numbers, Wojo could steal the fifth spot from both of them, and it looks like he may do just that with the hot start he’s had this spring.

No matter what happens, the Houston Astros, and the fans benefit. Just having a legitimate competition for roster spots is refreshing to see.

Next: How Are Departed Astros Faring?--Week Two

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