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Does Dan Straily have what it takes to stick with the Astros?

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When the Houston Astros traded outfielder Dexter Fowler for third baseman Luis Valbuena and starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Chicago Cubs, I was excited to get Straily because of what he did as an A’s pitcher early in his career. Straily is an unknown quality at the big leagues at the moment because of his success and failures in his career. The Astros could convert him back to the Straily of old under Brett Strom’s tutelage with the big league team. If he succeeds at the big league level, his ceiling is a number three pitcher.

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After interviewing him earlier in offseason, Straily appears to be a confident guy even after his struggles last year. You want a pitcher to believe in his stuff because it makes him want to improve his game. He does not wish to go back to the minors; he intends to prove that his stuff is good enough to stay with a first place team.

Let’s look at Straily’s drastic change between 2013 and 2014 with his stats from Baseball-Reference.

Tonight’s game versus the Indians will be a big step in the right direction for Straily if he pitches well. If he pitches poorly, it could further muddy the Astros starting rotation. Despite giving up two early runs in the early going, but settled down and was demonstrating the form of old. He says he has made some mechanical adjustments that have led to some recent success in Triple-A.

His stats from Triple-A Fresno are below, from Baseball-Reference.

2015 Fresno: 6-6/ 4.06 ERA/ 14 games/ 70 SO in 77.2 innings.

Below is a mini-interview I did with Straily about his first start in Boston, where he went 4 2/3 innings giving up 4 earned runs and striking out seven batters and allowing five hits. Things fell apart in the fifth inning when a ball thrown by Jose Altuve bounced off David Ortiz‘s helmet to break up a double play.

CTH: What was it like taking the mound in a major league game again?

Straily: Felt really good, I knew I was prepared and ready.

CTH: What was working for you that led to the seven strikeouts?

Straily: My Slider really was a big pitch for me that night. It just got better as the game went on.

CTH: What was your experience watching the game go back and forth with the lead? 

Straily: It was a great game to watch. A lot of offense that day. And glad we came out on top.

CTH: You looked like you were cruising after giving up the two runs, what happened in the fifth?

Straily: The ball went off of Ortiz’s helmet. That’s what happened. If he slides just a fraction of a second earlier were probably out of that inning up 5-3, and I would have gone back out for the 6th saving one more inning of work from the pen. But it’s baseball. Stuff happens and instead it was 5-5.

CTH: Did you get to experience “Club Astros” after Friday’s win?

Straily: Sure did

Thanks Dan for taking the time to answer my questions, and good luck in your start tonight. You can follow Dan Straily at @danstraily67 on Twitter.

What Does Dan Straily Offer for Astros Rotation? (w/interview)

Next: The Astros plan to limit innings, Velazquez to Corpus Christi

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