May I have your attention please? May I have your attention please? Will the real Lucas Harrell please stand up? I repeat, will the real Lucas Harrell please stand up? In case you’re not familiar with that, those are some slightly edited lyrics from the artist Eminem. The Houston Astros and their starting pitcher Lucas Harrell are at a bit of a crossroads right now.
In case you missed it, Houston’s manager, Bo Porter, has moved Harrell from the starting rotation to the bullpen. Before the year started, I never would have seen this coming. I still didn’t see this coming when it actually happened.
Harrell is tied with Seattle Mariners starter Felix Hernandez for the most starts with one earned run or less. For a starter with an ERA of 5.04, that isn’t something you would expect. That obviously isn’t the reason why Harrell has been moved. Harrell has been so inconsistent this year, and when he has been bad, he has been really bad. Porter moved Harrell to the bullpen indefinitely. Not so much as a demotion, but as a chance to get right, and so that maybe, just maybe, the “real” Lucas Harrell will finally stand up.
What Harrell has been so far this season isn’t what I think to be the “real” Lucas Harrell. I say that because Harrell hasn’t been himself on the mound. In his worst starts, Harrell hasn’t been a ground ball pitcher. He overthrows and tries to get strikeouts, but he ends up walking hitters, gets in trouble, and gives up runs, tons of runs. But, on the other hand, when has had some of his most successful starts, he is getting a ton of ground balls.
Harrell is ground ball pitcher. That is the “real” Lucas Harrell. Harrell knew that last season, but he has stepped away from that and is seriously hurting his future with the Astros. At this point in time, I’ll be extremely surprised if Harrell is traded, but I’ll also be surprised if Harrell is still on the Astros 25 man roster come August.
I’m begging you, will the real Lucas Harrell please stand up?