The Astros have claimed pitcher Sam Deduno from the Twins, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports (Twitter links). The Twins had placed Deduno on non-revocable waivers, so his contract now belongs to the Astros.
Deduno is already 31 and has gotten middling results this season in Minnesota, with a 4.60 ERA, 7.2 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 92 innings split between the rotation and the bullpen. He also doesn’t throw particularly hard, with an average fastball velocity of just 89.7 MPH this season (though the pitch does get plenty of movement). He will not be eligible for arbitration until after next season, however, and his near-league-minimum salary and ability to start will give the Astros flexibility. He also gets plenty of ground balls, with a very high career rate of 57%.
In the short term, Deduno hasn’t pitched more than three innings in an outing since late July, so he might not be able to start right away, if that’s even what the Astros ultimately want. He has also gotten much better results as a reliever than as a starter this season, so he might fit better in a bullpen role.
Deduno briefly pitched for the Rockies and Padres before signing with Minnesota after the 2011 season, where he soaked up starts in some tough years for the Twins rotation. In parts of five seasons in the big leagues, he has a 4.24 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9.
Deduno hasn’t pitched more than three innings in an outing since late July, so he might not be able to start right away.
Plus even if he wanted to, he can’t because he came in for relief for Trevor May last night. Maybe, the Astros can use him in the bullpen for now like a TJ MacFarland type. I don’t know.
I think Astros fans will be frustrated more often than not with Deduno.
Agreed. Deduno is maddening to watch, especially for anyone who witnessed his masterful World Baseball Classic appearances. Twins fans saw flashes of that here and there, but mostly what they saw was a excitable, flailing pitcher who had no idea where his pitches were headed.