As they begin the road to building a better team for the 2014 season the Houston Astros have started with an interesting move. They brought in relief pitcher Raul Valdes from the Philadelphia Phillies. Valdes had an ERA well over 7 this season so it begins to look like a head scratcher. The Astros see something in Valdes that they like well enough to give him a shot. Looking at some of the numbers on him you begin to understand just why the Astros are willing to give it a try.
For starters his ERA is a little bit ballooned this season or so the Astros suggest. The fact is that they appear to be correct. For the last two seasons Valdes had an ERA at 2.90 and 3.00 respectably. Comparing the numbers from those seasons and the 2013 high ERA season, there really are few differences. It seems that his control was lacking a little bit because his strikeout to walk ratio was down and he walked more batters.
That leads you to believe the problem likely was that he wasn’t able to put the ball exactly where he wanted to put it. That can then lead to hard hit balls and there you have a few games that get out of control. If the Astros get themselves a good pitching coaching staff and work with Valdes, he would be a very key pick up for low risk if he can turn things around. On the surface it is a head scratcher but it could very well turn into one of the smarter little moves of the offseason for the Astros.