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Astros: Good News on Whitley

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

The Astros were in quite a conundrum with regard to Forrest Whitley and got good news.

The Good

  • Whitley at one time was THE highest rated pitching prospect in all of MLB in 2019.

  • When he pitches he still seems to have nasty stuff

  • It is hard to believe someone with so much potential, can't succeed

  • Whitley is still only 26

The Bad

  • Whitley has not had a good season since 2018 in AA

  • In two partial seasons in AAA in 2022 and 2023 (63 IP), he has a 6.43 ERA and 5.73 FIP.

  • Whitley doesn't even appear on MLB Pipeline's top 30 prospect list for the Astros now.

  • He might be a RP now and not a SP. this may not be an issue, but it is fair from the lofty expectations.

The Ugly

  • Whitley had no options - until this week. This means he HAD to be on the active 26-man roster in 2024. Before this week the Astros were in a play him in the MLB or DFA and lose him situation

  • Whitley has had multiple injuries/ issues:

Whitley IL
  • Whitley has spent MOST of the last three years on the injured list.

  • In that time, Whitley has pitched 70 innings in three years.

This week Dana Brown gave Astros fans the good news that the Astros will get an additional option year with Whitley.

Rome on Whitley

This means that the team is essentially where they were last year with Whitley. They CAN option him to AAA this year and give him one last chance to prove himself. Notice their plan is now to make him a relief pitcher.

Whisper voice- Whitley as a RP, MIGHT be a REALLY good pitcher. You can quote me on that - if it happens. Otherwise, forget that I was optimistic on Whitley again. AGAIN.

Addition based on response to this article-

Why do so many Astros fans have such a visceral response to even mentioning Forrest Whitley's name?

The response to this article really puzzled me.

Astros fans seem PISSED that the team will pay Whitley the minimum league salary as they play the development lottery game with him one more year.

What harm is it doing to play the lottery on Whitley one last time? Who is the prospect that you think is getting their playing time cut by trying to continue to develop Whitley? I just don't and haven't understood why people demand the Astros cut Whitley. There is no reason to do that.

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