Analyzing Four Potential Breakout Candidates for the Astros in 2023

World Series - Houston Astros v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Three
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Matt Gage
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3) Matt Gage

As the saying goes, "There are three certainties in life: death, taxes and the Astros turning reclamation projects into dominant relievers. Look for Gage to be the next in a long line.

Dusty Baker's newest weapon out of the bullpen, the Astros claimed Gage off waivers out of Toronto. Gage made 11 appearances with the Blue Jays last year and was dominant. In 13 innings of work, Gage posted a 1.38 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP.

Before his callup, he had made 41 appearances in AAA and 2.76 ERA. Gage struggled early in his professional career, but really seems to have found it coming out of the pandemic delay and has been an entirely different pitcher the last two seasons.

Unlike most of the Astros relievers, he's not a flame-thrower. His pitch profile is similar to what Will Harris and Brooks Raley deployed. Look for the Astros to push Gage to throw more sliders in 2023. If Gage can dial in the slider, the Astros may very well have their next dominant reliever.

If that's the case, opposing fanbases will be left doing their best Jesse Pinkman.

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