14. Dallas Keuchel
15. Collin McHugh
16. Mike Fiers
17. Doug Fister
18. Scott Feldman
The rotation could have been decimated by the loss of Lance McCullers for an unknown amount of time, but with the addition of Fister to the other four return pitchers who had success in 2015. Keuchel is the leader of the rotation that every team wants, and I think he won some big award last year. Unlike some pitchers, he doesn’t rely on throwing the ball hard, which makes him more durable on the mound.
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McHugh was a breakout pitcher like Keuchel in 2013, he digressed a little last year ERA-wise, but pitching in front of a better lineup gave him 19 wins in 2015. He may not be the household name that Keuchel is, but can hold his own and could be the ace if the beard was not here. The Astros started McHugh as the fourth pitcher last year, and they moved him up to the second pitcher behind Keuchel.
There was talk that Fiers was going to be the long guy in the bullpen before McCullers shoulder soreness, but he is the third pitcher in this rotation. Fiers was considered a throw in the Gomez trade with the Brewers, but he proved he was more than that by firing a no-hitter versus the Dodgers last year.
Fister was a reclamation project for the Astros after coming off an off year where he was removed from the rotation with the Washington Nationals. He was on top of his game in 2014, but falling off last year has led him to sign a one-year deal with the Stros. He has shown flashes of brilliance this spring, but he has struggled later in his starts. He has incentives worked into his contract for innings pitched, so look for him to rebound.
Feldman is Reid Ryan’s pick to click in 2016. Ryan said that part of the reason why the Astros bullpen struggled so much towards the end of the season was from overuse because the starters outside of McHugh and Keuchel were going deep into games, so Hinch had to go to the pen too much. He said they missed Feldman in the rotation last year more than people think because he is able to eat up innings and give you a chance to win. When McCullers is ready to return, one of the last three will move out of the rotation. The first month will determine who will mo
The first month will determine who will most likely move out of the rotation.
Next: The Bullpen