The Houston Astros have eliminated Dan Straily from their rotation competition, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
This is certainly an interesting twist after Dan Straily had arguably his best outing of the spring in yesterday’s outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates, going 3 2/3 innings, allowing one run on a solo homer. Straily only allowed one hit along with a walk while striking out four. Roberto Hernandez on the other hand went four full innings, allowing three hits and a run. Straily (5.91) has a slightly higher ERA in camp than Hernandez (4.50), but with the small sample size, the Houston Astros must not have liked what they were seeing from the newly acquired righty. So now there are three: Hernandez, Wojo and Deduno. Of those three, Wojciechowski stands out with his 0.75 ERA in 12 innings of work. The 26-year old righty is healthy, and this may be the opportunity for him to make his big league debut.
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According to Baseball-Reference, the three pitchers have been facing very similar opponents, with the range being between 8.2 and 8.3, which is a minuscule difference according to the site’s rating system. The batters they have been facing rank in at Triple-A level, with a 10 being MLB talent. So what does this all mean? For my money Asher Wojciechowski will be making his debut for the Houston Astros on Saturday April 11th in Arlington–the fifth game of the season. Of course, the team could go with either Hernandez or Deduno who have more experience, but they’d be seen as innings eaters. With Wojo, there is upside potential, and that is something that the Astros are banking on this season. The fan base is excited about the potential that nearly everyone on the roster brings–so why not include Wojo in the mix?