The Houston Astros were desperate for a left-handed reliever last season.
The Astros were able to make a trade for Francisco Liriano at the trade deadline. However, the transition from starter to reliever was not smooth. While he eventually settled down, he had one little unfortunate appearance in the ALDS and A.J. Hinch was scared to use him.
The Astros have considered whether to re-sign Liriano according to Jake Kaplan, but he may be looking for a chance to start again. Many fans would not like a Liriano reunion. There are only so many options on the free agent market, so they were looking for other options.
Then there was the Rule 5 draft. The Astros roster sat at 39 players after adding Joe Smith last night. They had an open roster spot, but who would have thought the Astros would carry a project all year long? The Astros selected Anthony Gose with their pick in the Rule 5 draft via Kaplan. Gose will have to remain on the 25-man roster or be offered back to the Rangers.
Who is Anthony Gose?
You may remember Gose as part of a trade for Roy Oswalt. Gose’s time with the Stros was short as he was flipped to the Blue Jays for Brett Wallace. Neither one of their careers have taken off, but Wallace has become a decent pinch hitter. Gose had all the promise but never reached expectations. In the 2016 offseason, Gose made the switch to pitching.
His results as a pitcher last year was not impressive, but apparently, he can throw 100 mph. Get got his feet wet last year in advanced Class-A. In 11 games, he had 14 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings. While he did walk six batters, he didn’t allow any homers with a 7.59 ERA. It’s a tiny sample size, so the Astros will evaluate him deeper this Spring.
It’s a low risk and high reward if he is legit. If he can prove himself this Spring, he could make the team. They now have the options to look at this Spring. On a side note, the Astros can use Gose as a pinch runner and on occasions, play the outfield. He could be a weapon, but he has to earn his keep.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***