With World Series hopes in mind for the Houston Astros, would Julio Teheran be an upgrade over what they already have?
Just when we think that the Astros primary target is Sonny Gray, which I still believe, another name emerges. Yesterday, Jon Heyman wrote that he thinks the Astros will trade for Jose Quintana. This offseason, I felt that Quintana was the best fit for the Astros if they could ever settle on a price. However, Heyman mentioned another name briefly who the Astros are interested in.
"“And word is, they’ve inquired on Julio Teheran and others and are waiting until the end to see if someone even better shakes out (more on that in the AL notes).” – Jon Heyman."
Heyman mentions Julio Teheran by name as a player the Astros have already identified as a potential target. Heyman said that the Astros are waiting for a “big fish,” to emerge before they settle on some other pitchers. The reason behind this is how they reached out early for Scott Kazmir in 2015 while missing out on David Price later.
Teheran may not make you excited as an Astros fan because he is having a bad season for the Braves. With four years of MLB experience, Teheran is under team control until the 2019 season. Teheran is not a one-year rental which fits what Jeff Luhnow is rumored to be looking for this year. If the Stros make a trade, they want this player to be around during this window to win.
A look at Teheran.
As a pitcher with a career 3.57 ERA with 53 wins and 46 losses. He has 779 strikeouts in 917 2/3 innings. Teheran has never been a high strikeout guy in his career. He is primarily and fastball pitcher, throwing it 62% of the time. His secondary pitch is a slider (22%) and also throws a curve and a changeup.
This year, he has a 6-6 record with a 5.15 ERA in 17 starts. His 6.54 strikeouts per nine innings are lowest in his career since his debut season with the Braves. Teheran is allowing the most home runs of his career at a 1.87 per nine innings rate. His control has wobbled with 3.55 walks per nine innings pitched.
Teheran has 70 strikeouts in 96 1/3 innings. Not sure if I was supposed to sell Teheran to you or not. Let’s assumed that he would be Plan D for the Astros. Maybe if he came to the Astros, Brent Strom could get him to use his breaking pitches more. Perhaps a change of scenery would help him regain his old form.
Would he be an upgrade over what the Astros already have? Could he be the third pitcher in the playoffs for the Stros? The cost of acquiring a controllable asset like Teheran may not be worth it. If Luhnow thinks that they can work with Teheran, then more power to him. Most Houston fans were hoping for a less risky option for the price.
***Stats from Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference***