Astros Place Fernando Nieve on Waivers
In an interesting story about how bad the Astros have been this spring, Fanhouse reported today that the Astros have placed Fernando Nieve on waivers. So, another team can claim the pitcher. If no one picks him up, he’ll be sent to start the year in Round Rock.
If someone picks him up, it’s because he still has potential (and a mid 90s fastball) and his negative feelings about this organization caused him to stop trying. Or, if no one picks him up, it’s because he sucks, and won’t get back to what he showed us he could be early on. Either way it’s a loss for the Astros.
In 2006, Nieve pitched 96 innings, struck out 70, walked 41, and had a 4.20 ERA. He was wildly inconsistent, but definitely showed flashes of brilliance. I remember when Roy Oswalt was scratched from a start at the last minute due to injury, and Nieve stepped in to start on a moment’s notice. He allowed only 2 runs. At that point, I thought he had it figured out. His time as a starter hadn’t gone well prior to that, and he was really putting it together as a reliever, being projected as a future closer. He wasn’t happy about that move to the bullpen, though, and indicated that he thought he was being treated unfairly.
His dissatisfaction grew over the next couple of years of being called up and sent down, and then there’s the little issue of having to undergo Tommy John surgery in May of 2007.
All in all, I don’t blame the guy if he has quit on us. Purpura and the gang weren’t exactly great with how they handled him, but the great potential with mixed results made things tough.
The Padres will probably pick him up, since they’ve been the only team willing to take our leftovers in recent years. He’ll pitch at Petco, look great, and I’ll bitch and moan, forgetting that he would be angrily wasting away in Round Rock with this organization.