July 15, 2024

The Houston Astros are facing a setback in their pitching depth as one of their promising young hurlers has been picked up off waivers. Heading into the offseason, the Astros knew they had to address the departure of three bullpen pitchers who were becoming free agents – Hector Neris, Ryne Stanek, and Phil Maton. Despite initial plans for a low-key offseason to avoid exceeding the luxury tax threshold set by owner Jim Crane, the situation changed when Kendall Graveman was sidelined for the entire upcoming season, prompting the Astros to make a significant move by signing star closer Josh Hader to a lucrative contract.

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While Hader’s addition was lauded as a step towards ensuring competitiveness for another World Series title in 2024, concerns lingered about filling the void left by the departed and injured players. These concerns intensified when young pitcher Declan Cronin was claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins, as reported by Ari Alexander of KPRC 2 Houston.

The Astros had claimed the 26-year-old Cronin earlier in the offseason after he was designated for assignment by the Chicago White Sox. Although Cronin had limited Major League experience, appearing in just nine games for the White Sox with a high ERA, he had shown promise in the minor leagues with a respectable career ERA. While Cronin might not have played a significant role for Houston this season, his departure has highlighted the importance of maintaining depth in the pitching staff.

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