Is Astros RP Will Harris All-Star Game Worthy?


When there is someone on base, and it don’t look good, who are you going to call? Will Harris! The former Diamondback pitcher was released by Arizona this past December. The Astros quickly swooped in and claim him off waivers. During the Astros “Bloggers” Roundtable in January, Luhnow called claiming Harris an excellent move for the bullpen. He mentioned that the bloggers there understand his value more than a typical fan. One of the other bloggers said, “it’s a steal.”

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You might be wondering how a quality big league arm like Will Harris was available to be stolen by the Astros? The answer is pretty clear, after a season where Harris was 0-3/ 4.34 ERA/ 35 strikeouts in 29 innings. His control was a little questionable with nine walks.

The Diamondbacks made the same choice that the Astros did when putting J.D. Martinez and Josh Zeid on waivers the past two seasons. They thought that they had better players, so they let Harris walk with that idea. I bet Harris is glad to be on the Astros as well, with Arizona not going anywhere.

So far this season, Harris has indeed been a steal for the Houston Astros. During spring training, Harris found himself closing out a few games. He has found himself getting the last three outs in non-save games this year. However, lately Harris has the confidence of A.J. Hinch to serve as the fireman of the bullpen. The old term for a fireman is the pitcher who gets the save, but my interpretation of a fireman is someone who comes in and puts out the fire.

Bases loaded, bring on Harris.

Game tying run on second, bring on Harris.

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The seventh and eighth innings are just as important as the ninth inning. Despite giving up the game-tying home run in Wednesday’s game that denied Vincent Velasquez and the Astros the win, Harris had been really reliable.

Harris passes the eye test as a good pitcher, but what does his stats say? Harris so far has pitched 23 innings in 2015 while striking out 33. He is 2-0 in 2015 with a .96 ERA. He is averaging a little more that ten strikeouts per nine innings. The best stat from FanGraphs is his 100% of the runners that reach base are stranded on base.

His average fastball sits around 91.2 mph (FanGraphs) and his curve sits around 80.5 mph. He knows how to pitch in high pressure situations, which could pay off in the All-Star game. He is the best pitcher in a good Astros bullpen, he deserves to be on All-Star roster.

Next: A Look at the Houston Astros Draft Bonus Pool

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