8th Best All-Time Astros Starter
Shane Reynolds by Eric Huysman
During the 2015 playoff run, I was leaving a game early because the Astros were being blown out and I had to get my son home for school the next day. As I was walking out to the staircase, out walks this tall, broad-shouldered guy. It took me a second to realize who it was; it was one of my all-time favorite pitchers Shane Reynolds. He didn’t have the most overpowering stuff, but I remembered how he shrugged his shoulder before each pitch.
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Reynolds was drafted in the third round of the 1989 draft out of the University of Texas. He made his debut with the Houston Astros out of the bullpen for a few games to get his feet wet; then he started working in the rotation. His first two seasons were nothing special, like Keuchel, he doesn’t rely on overpowering speed. He took a while to develop his pitch, but when he developed his split-fingered fastball, he quickly became a great pitcher.
In the strike-shortened 1994 season, Reynolds finished 11th in the NL Rookie of the year voting after going 8-5 with a 3.05 ERA in 124 innings. While 1994 wasn’t his first season, Reynolds did meet the criteria to be a rookie.
During his 11 years with the Astros, Reynolds went 103-86 with a 3.95 ERA in 1622.1 while striking out 1309 hitters. Until Oswalt came around, Reynold was the ace of the Astros staff for a good stretch of time through the Killer B’s years. Like Mike Hampton and Kuchel, Reynolds was an above average (almost elite) fielding pitcher which helped his cause on many occasions.
Unfortunately, Reynolds did not finish his career with the Houston Astros, making stops in Atlanta (2003) and Arizona (2004), but he was not the same pitcher. He was not a flame-thrower, but he knew how to pitch.
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