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Astros’ Chris Devenski Stands For Great Teammate

The Astros’ Chris Devenski Has Been Successful in Whatever Role He is In.

The Houston Astros were able to sweep the day/night doubleheader versus the Minnesota Twins. This outcome was due to the offense resurgence and the pitching effort of Chris Devenski. Before the 2016 season, most people were not aware of who Devenski was unless you were a diehard fan. You may remember him as the player the Astros got for Brett Myers, but I knew him as the Stros’ prospect with the best changeup.

I interviewed Astros catching prospect Trent Woodward last offseason. He told me that Devenski’s changeup was one of the best he has ever seen. With the talent that the Astros have in their farm system, that was a big compliment. When the White Sox drafted Devenski in the 25th round of the 2011 MLB Draft, they did so as a reliever.

A Reliever or a Starter?

Devenski pitched at California State University Fullerton and grew up in the California area. He started off in the minors as a reliever but made a spot start in Class-A ball. Following his first start, he was informed that he would be joining the rotation for good. Shortly after the transition to becoming a starter, he was traded to Houston.

It was very ironic that Devenski started his career between starting and relieving, which is similar to his role now. No matter what manager A.J. Hinch needs, Devenski will answer the door. When he was called up following Michael Feliz‘s implosion in Game Two of the season, he instantly made his presence known. The 25-year-old Devenski pitched three scoreless innings versus the Brewers while striking out four hitters. Following his breakout debut, he has been nothing but effective mostly.

The Many-Faced Devenski.

Yes, I got that from the Game of Thrones, but he wears many hats with the Astros in 2016. If a pitcher loaded the bases with no outs, they would bring in Devenski to clean up the mess. If a starter got knocked out of the game early, Devenski could come in from the bullpen and pitch 3-4 innings. Devenski often pitched after Scott Feldman, so the two pitchers switched roles for a few starts.

While Feldman stayed in the bullpen, Devenski went back to the bullpen following the Rangers game where he got hammered. Is it a close game but not a save opportunity, bring in Devenski to get the final three outs.

The Astros have relied a lot on the right arm of Devenski this year. However, his biggest performance of the year could be his performance last night. In a game where the Astros needed someone to come out of the pen to give them at least five innings, Devenski did what he was asked. The Astros were going to leave him in for about 70 pitches. He finished with 71 pitches in five shutout innings.

Devenski is an old-school baseball player. He doesn’t need a set role. He is up for anything you can throw his way. They don’t call him Dragon for nothing. His role is up in the air for 2017, but for now, he is very valuable. Now, he has his first career win under his belt.

***Stats from Baseball-Reference***

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