Many were excited about SP Adrian Houser as part of the Milwaukee Brewers packed farm system in the 2016 season, but news came in today he’s out for the season with Tommy John surgery.
SP Adrian Houser seemed to be a small name looking at the packed deal that sent CF Carlos Gomez and SP Mike Fiers to the Houston Astros for SP Josh Hader, OF Brett Phillips, and OF Domingo Santana. By now, for Milwaukee Brewers fans most of those names are familiar as they are either on the team or now ranked in the top 5 in the mid-season rankings for Baseball America.
But, Houser isn’t necessarily a name that should be skipped. Baseball America was high on him as they ranked him #20 before the season started. Last year he made a good impression with the Milwaukee Brewers organization as with the AA Biloxi Shuckers he pitched 37 innings with a 2.92 ERA, 7.78 K/9, and 1.46 BB/9.
He started the season with the Biloxi Shuckers again this year hoping his 92-94 mph sinking fastball along with his strong slider would show much of the same effect. But, he wasn’t as efficient if you focus on the basic numbers. He went 3-7, 70.1 IP, and 5.25 ERA.
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But, comparing the advanced stats to last year 7.17 K/9 (7.78 K/9 in ’15), 1.46 BB/9 (2.82 K/9 in ’15), and 3.68 FIP (3.55 in ’15), things weren’t so bad. Obviously, the BB ratio most likely caused a number of problems. FanGraphs pointed out in March he can miss his location easily as his fastball seems to be the only pitch to have solid command.
Unfortunately, for the Milwaukee Brewers, Tommy John surgery in the minor league system isn’t anything new as one of their first rounders, BA’s #15 prospect LHP Nathan Kirby, just had it last year. Add BA’s #22 prospect RHP Taylor Williams (Hi-A in 2015) to that list too. He’s not back yet as Tommy John surgery can take up to 12-18 months to recover.
If anything, it’s good to see Adrian Houser be so positive about a rough injury as he’ll likely be out the full 2017 season too. Luckily in recent history some pitchers even on the Milwaukee Brewers have gone through the surgery twice, LHP Chris Capuano, and still have found a way to continue a career in MLB.