Astros closer Mark Melancon was dealt to the Red Sox today for shortstop Jed Lowrie and pitcher Kyle Weiland. Melancon had 20 of the Astros 25 saves in 2011 and he also went 8-4 with a 2.78 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 74 1/3 innings. It’s safe to say the Astros don’t need a really good closer as they enter 2012 as one of the worst teams in baseball so it looks like this was a case of selling Melancon while his stock was still high.
Injuries have been a concern for Jed Lowrie and hopefully this is a way for him to get a fresh start. He’s a former first round pick and while he’s shown signs of life the last couple of years, injuries have also been a concern. He played in 88 games last year (a career high) and in 2010, he had his best season at the plate when he hit nine home runs in 171 at bats. One nice thing is, Lowrie can play every where on the infield.
Weiland was a rookie last year and he got shelled in his short time with the team. His minor league career has been solid though and he has 426 strikeouts and 171 walks in 449 1/3 innings. He’s also one of those rarer pitchers who’s moved up the ladder one year at a time. He just turned 25 so he could fill out the back end of the Astros rotation or be a swing man/sixth starter. He also has options so my bet is, he starts the season at Triple-A and is used as needed.
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