Astros add journeyman lefty on minor-league deal

Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Houston Astros announced the signing of left-hander Zac Rosscup to a minor-league deal Tuesday. Rosscup, 33-years-old, pitched in only four major-league games in 2021 with the Colorado Rockies.

The lefty has pitched at the major-league level with five different franchises in seven seasons, excluding 2016 and 2020 where he did not pitch for a major-league team. Rosscup’s longest tenure with a franchise was with the Chicago Cubs from 2013-2017.

Rosscup has a connection to general manager James Click, while being drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009. His tenure in the Rays’ system lasted about two years, before being traded to the Cubs.

Since his hire, Click has made cheap additions in Steven Souza Jr., Ryne Stanek, Steve Cishek and a bigger signing in Jake Odorizzi. These players were all in Tampa at the same time as Click, similar to Rosscup.

The Astros add Zac Rosscup to spring training, as another left-handed option to evaluate.

This offseason, the Astros lost Brooks Raley to the Tampa Bay Rays and Kent Emanuel on waivers to the Philadelphia Phillies. The team now has three rostered left-handers — Framber Valdez, Blake Taylor and Jonathan Bermudez.

Taylor is the only left-hander out of the bullpen, as Bermudez likely continues the start of the 2022 season in Triple-A. Bermudez, who was added to the 40-man roster in November, was the Astros’ minor-league pitcher of the year last season.

With the addition of Rosscup, the Astros have another left-hander in camp to not only matchup against hitters but to evaluate as a cheap Triple-A arm for regular season depth. If Rosscup does not meet expectations, then he is an easy release.

On Baseball Savant, Rosscup had enough innings for evaluation for two seasons — 2015 and 2019. In those seasons, the left-hander rated poorly on fastball spin and saw a significant decrease in velocity percentile in the small sample size.

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