Honorably Mentioned #1
Bob Knepper by Cody Poage
Not all of the Astros best pitchers were necessarily stars of the team. But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t step up and provide the team with solid results. Bob Knepper is one of these players.
Knepper came over to the Astros in 1981 after spending the first four full seasons of his major league career with the San Francisco Giants. While he struggled in the final two seasons of his first stint with the Giants, Knepper managed to turn it around in his first year in Houston. In fact, he was named to the All-Star and The Sporting News Come Back Player of the Year after finishing the 1981 season with a 9-5 record and 2.18 ERA/2.86 FIP.
Even though he had his fair share downs with the Astros, Knepper also had some notable seasons after his impressive 1981 season. He won 17 games in 1986 and finished with his highest WAR for a season (3.5). Knepper also made the All-Star game a second time during the 1988 season, which he finished with a 14-5 record with a 3.14 ERA/3.74 FIP.
Even though he was eventually released from the Astros during the 1989 season, he is known for being one of the Astros more solid pitchers of the 1980’s. In fact, he finished his Astros career with a 14.7 WAR and a 91-99 record. And despite his losing record, he had a 3.70 ERA/3.73 FIP in 267 starts.
Not every pitcher can be a star, but every team needs solid pitchers. Knepper was one of those. And because of his contributions, he helped the Astros reach new heights in the ’80’s.