Houston Astros: 3 thoughts on the team’s heist of the 2019 trade deadline

Houston Astros general manger Jeff Luhnow (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Astros general manger Jeff Luhnow (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Houston Astros
Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /

Thought #2: A premonition of what to expect

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The first announcement of an Astros trade post-deadline time was for Joe Biagini. Moments later, it was announced that Aaron Sanchez was also acquired. Sadly, Derek Fisher was moved in the trade to the Blue Jays. A reminder that he was the one who scored the winning run in the epic Game 5 of the 2017 World Series is in order. We’ll surely miss him.

But these were moves that didn’t seem to have the flashiness of a brilliant move much like the ones from last year. But when one looks at the numbers, you can have an understanding as to why they were made.

Biagini enters Houston with a 3.75 ERA and more than 48 innings of work. But his K/9 against is a career-high 9.0. He also has a BB/9 0f 3.0 and produces a 45.3 percent ground ball rate. Not only does he get ground balls, but he can easily get hitters to swing and miss on outside pitches.

Hitters chase those pitches 36.1 percent of the time and he also has a career-high 13.7 percent swing rate. This is a useful weapon for the bullpen, who has at times had struggles. To make things complicated, Ryan Pressly is now on the injured list and the earliest he could return is at least not until Aug. 6.

Trending. Astros: Grading the 2019 trade deadline moves. light

Sanchez comes in as the fifth starter for the Astros. But he’s had 23 starts and has a high ERA of 6.07. So why would we go after a guy with a high ERA to join our staff? The answer is simply that we have the best pitching coach in the majors with Brent Strom on deck.

Strom has managed to revive careers in Houston. Before Strom, Charlie Morton was injury-prone and couldn’t get anything going. After Strom, he’s a World Series hero, a two-time All-Star, and a core member of a Tampa Bay squad looking for a playoff berth.

Justin Verlander was starting to turn his career around in Detroit before he got traded. He’s now having a blast in his second run as a dominant MLB pitcher. Gerrit Cole is also getting a revival in Houston. He leads all of baseball in strikeouts and should also be in talks of a Cy Young Award.

Sanchez won’t be on the level with Verlander and Cole, but you can bet that with hard work and the opportunity to fix his flaws, he could keep the back end of the rotation strong by the time the top two go at opponents.