CBS Houston – Swiss army knife Chris (Devo) Devenski might be the guy that keeps the Houston Astros streak of top finishes for the A.L. rookie of the year alive for another season.
In 2014 starting pitcher Collin McHugh finished 4th in voting for the award, and last season shortstop Carlos Correa took home the honor finishing number one.
This season for the Astros it has been the year of the rookie, and they aren’t just putting young guys out there just for the sake of it. In the middle of a playoff race, the rookies have been impactful, but none have been bigger then Devo.
This season the Astros young right-hander did not make the team out of camp, but it did not take long for him to join the team. Not even a week into the season the Astros optioned Michael Feliz to Triple-A and Devo was called up.
Since then he’s done just about everything for the team, starting, closing, middle relief, long relief and even once this year he was slated to pick up a bat and hit for the team. The man has literally done everything for the team and done it at a high level.
“He’s a good pitcher, he answers any challenge that we give him,” A..J. Hinch said of Devo, “I like the fact that he has no ego about it, he doesn’t ask for any more or any less, he takes the ball when we give it to him and he gives his best and his best has been excellent.”
In 99 innings this year he has a 2.09 ERA, that not only makes him the 4th best pitcher in baseball, but it also gives him the best ERA among all rookie pitchers.
He doesn’t have 10 wins like the Detriot Tigers rookie starting pitcher Michael Fulmer or a .300 batting average like Cleveland Indians centerfielder Tyler Naquin but what Devo has done is been nails and gotten the outs the Astros have asked him to get.
This year He has been the closest pitcher to an everyday player position that there is.
“He’s started, long relief, middle relief, late relief, he’s been a big jam guy for us and he’s done it all with almost a 2 era,” Collin McHugh told sportsradio610.com of Devo’s season, “Just been really aggressive every time he gets out there, for this team it’s been him and (Jose) Altuve that have been our pacesetters all year.”
Only one game this season will keep Devo from having a truly epic year. In his final outing starting this year against the Boston RedSox, he was only able to last 2 innings while giving up 6 runs. If you take that off his record he now would hold a 1.58 era and be considered one of if not the best pitcher in the league.
Even still a nonpressure reliever doesn’t normally get much run in voting. The last pitcher to get serious votes for rookie of the year who wasn’t a closer or a starter was New York Yankees Dellin Betances in 2014. After that, you got to go back till 2008 when the Oakland Athletics had a couple bullpen guys pick up votes.
Helping Devo’s case could be the fact that the rookies that are getting a lot of buzz this year are guys that are johnny came lately.
Devo’s teammate thrid basemen, Alex Bregman, if he plays every game the rest of the season will only play in 63 games. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has pretty much single-handedly kept the Bronx Bombers in the playoff race but he’ll finish playing even fewer games then Bregman.
In 2013 Tampa Rays outfielder Wil Myers won the rookie of the year and finished with 88 games played. So far that is the least amount of game played by someone that went on to win the award.
“I feel like he has a shot,” Carlos Correa told sportsradio610.com of Devo’s rookie of the year chances,”I feel like he should be up there in the voting cause it’s impressive what he’s done for this team, he’s been able to do it all year long, be very consistent.”
There is still 18 games left in the season for the swiss army knife to really make his name known with continued good play. With Astros, 3.5 games back of the second wildcard, and every pitch, every game meaning ten times more than games in April, maybe the team’s desperation is helping him save his best for last.
In Devo’s last eight games, he has a 0 ERA in 11 innings pitched, allowing only 3 hits while striking out 11 batters and walking no one.
“I haven’t really heard much about it,” Chris Devenski told sportsradio610.com about the race for the rookie of the year, “it’s something pretty cool hopefully I can pull it off.”
While the buzz of the race hasn’t really started to heat up, Devo does figure to get plenty of run. Getting the win will be hard to pull off but he deserves to be in the top five if not the top three in voting.
Devo’s season has been truly great and he’s done it pretty much since week one. He’s been one of the most consistent relievers in all of baseball on a team that is fighting to make the playoffs.
He may not have the pressure of a closer or a setup man, but when he enters the game he keeps the score right where it is. He kept the Astros in a lot of games and his record doesn’t reflect the great job he has done. A few more hits in a few more games and you could be looking at a guy with a lot more wins on his record.
If voters look at Devo’s whole body of work and not just his win/loss record they will see the type of impact he has provided for the team. Come voting time he should give the Astros their third straight top-four finish.