30 Players in 30 Days: Scott Feldman
Scott Feldman spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Texas Rangers before he was granted free agency and joined the Chicago Cubs. Feldman spent half of a season with Chicago in 2013 before the team traded him as part of the deal that brought over Jake Arrieta from the Baltimore Orioles. After the season, Feldman signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Houston Astros before the 2014 season.
Feldman was named the Opening Day starter and put together a decent 2014 campaign: 8-12, 3.74 ERA, 1.303 WHIP. Coming into the 2015 season there was no doubt that Dallas Keuchel was the team’s ace, and with the emergence of Collin McHugh, Feldman was fitted into the middle of the rotation.
Feldman got the nod in game two of the 2015 season against the Cleveland Indians and pitched well (1 ER in 6 2/3 innings), but was tagged with the loss as the Astros were shutout. His next start blew up his ERA as he gave up eight runs – seven of them earned – over five innings, and three home runs.
Feldman responded with three consecutive quality starts but was knocked out after just three innings against the Texas Rangers on May 5 after allowing six runs and nine hits. That was the last clunker on the season for Feldman as he did not allow more than four runs in a game over his last 12 starts.
On May 26, Feldman got the nod in Baltimore against his former team and put together six innings of work allowing only one run. Feldman was having trouble with a sore knee after fielding a ball in that start that turned out to be a torn medial meniscus. The injury required arthroscopic surgery and Feldman would miss about seven weeks before returning on July 18 against the Rangers in a losing effort, allowing four runs over 5 2/3 innings.
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From his next start on July 25 through August, Feldman was one of the best pitchers on the team, allowing only eight runs across six starts for a 1.80 ERA.
Feldman unusually struggled on his Sept. 1 start against the Seattle Mariners, walking five batters and allowing three runs over just 2 2/3 innings before he was pulled with shoulder discomfort.
An MRI later revealed that Feldman had a sprained right shoulder, and the team decided to shut him down for the rest of the season. The injury ended an impressive string of starts for him, and he finished the season at 5-5 in 18 games with a 3.90 ERA.
Feldman has been a reliable arm for the Astros in his two seasons. If you take away his worst two starts, which of course, you can’t, Feldman’s ERA would sit at 3.02. In his two years with the Astros, he now has 3.80 ERA over 47 games and a 1.306 WHIP.
More Houston Astros Season Recaps:
- Vince Velasquez
- Tony Sipp
- Jonathan Villar
- Preston Tucker
- Mike Fiers
- Hank Conger
- Chad Qualls
- Jon Singleton
- Joe Thatcher
- Marwin Gonzalez
- Josh Fields
- Jake Marisnick
- Pat Neshek
- Jed Lowrie
- Luis Valbuena
What to expect in 2016
It’s a marvel to look back at how the Astros’ starting rotation has advanced in just over a year. Feldman, the 2014 Opening Day starter, is now the fourth or fifth option out of the rotation. Feldman will be 33 years old at the start of the next season, and while his numbers are still good, his strikeout totals have gone down while his hits per nine have risen each of the past three seasons so the regression may continue.
On the bright side, Feldman walks fewer batters now than at any other point in his career. He’s a veteran presence that, at worst, is a long-relief option. With Mike Fiers, Lance McCullers, Keuchel and McHugh seemingly locked into 2016 rotation spots, Feldman will have to contend with the Astros’ rising, young arms for a spot in the rotation next season.