Astros: Last season may have hurt Devenski’s arbitration case

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 28: Chris Devenski
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 28: Chris Devenski /

Houston Astros’ relief pitcher Chris Devenski‘s arbitration is scheduled for Feb. 5 in Tampa, Florida. Did last season hurt his case?

Devenski and the Astros weren’t very far apart in the salary figures filed, with a $250 thousand difference. Houston’s front office filed $1.4 million and Devenski’s team countered with $1.65 million. Each side’s case will be heard before a three-person panel and one salary or the other will be decided upon, nothing in between.

This is the first year Devenski is eligible for arbitration, as he enters the fourth year of his career. Unfortunately, for the 28-year-old reliever, 2018 was the worst season he’s experienced. So it may be an uphill battle for him going into next week’s hearing.

Devenski’s career started out very promising, finishing fourth in the voting for the Rookie of the Year Award in 2016. He then followed that by being selected to the All-Star Game the next season. To Devenski’s dismay, his performance did decline each successive season, putting up his worst stats in 2018. That resulted in him being left off of the postseason roster last year.

His ERA dropped from 2.16 in 2016 to 2.68 the following season, ending last year with an ERA of 4.18. Devenski’s WAR plummeted to 0.1 in 2018, after posting a 1.9 the previous season and 2.8 his rookie year. His innings pitched per season have decreased by over half since his rookie year. He only pitched 47.1 innings last season, and it seemed like a lot of those appearances were in games already decided.

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Chris Devenski has been working hard this offseason working on his mechanics. He discovered he had “issues here and there”, as he put it, mostly with his legs and hip. But it may be a little too late to help him out and sway the arbitration panel his way. We’ll find out in Spring Training if the changes have positive results. But for now, Houston may have the upper hand in winning this case.