Thursday, July 29, 2010

Welcome Wagon: J.A. Happ

And now we can welcome LHP J.A. Happ to the Houston Astros rotation.

Your starting rotation at 2:15pm on Thursday looks as such: Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez, J.A. Happ, Bud Norris, Wesley Wright.

Happ will be 28 on October 19, and was the Phillies' 3rd Round pick in 2004.

In his 109-game minor-league career (including three rehab starts in 2010), Happ posted a 3.52 ERA/1.26 WHIP in 565.2IP, with 579K:224BB. In 2008, he was 8-7 for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, with a 3.60 ERA/1.22 WHIP, 151K:48BB in 135IP.

2009 was his breakout year for the Phillies, going 12-4 in 23 starts (35 games) with three complete games and two shutouts, posting a 2.93 ERA/1.24 WHIP in 166IP and finishing 2nd in the Rookie of the Year voting, behind Chris Coghlan. Among all rookies who received votes, Happ had the highest WAR, with 3.8.

Overall, his splits are encouraging: .636 OPS Against on the road. .460 OPSa w/RISP. There are lots of things to be encouraged about (and we can manipulate statistics to fit our mood), and also plenty to be discouraged about. Chief among them are the injuries, and that Happ will be 30-31 when the Astros likely get respectable again.

Welcome!

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