Astros sign former UH product Crain
The Astros have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent right-handed pitcher Jesse Crain, who played at the University of Houston.
Crain, an American League All-Star in 2013, posted an 0.74 ERA in 37 relief appearances for the White Sox with 11 walks and 46 strikeouts in 36 2/3innings pitched for an 11.29 strikeouts per nine innings ratio. Other highlights from 2013 included holding right-handed hitters to a .174 average (12-for-69), no home runs allowed and a streak of 29 consecutive scoreless appearances from April 17 through June 22.
Crain’s season ended prematurely due to a right shoulder strain. The White Sox traded Crain to the Rays on July 29, but he did not appear in a game for the Rays.
“Jesse Crain is a proven, quality reliever that will help us win games in 2014,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “We targeted him early in the offseason and are excited to bring him on board.”
In his 10 Major League seasons withthe Twins (2004-10) and White Sox (2011-13), Crain has posted a 45-30 record in 532 appearances (all in relief) with a 3.05 ERA and four saves with a .229 opponents average. His 45 wins in relief since his debut in 2004 are tied with Chad Qualls for tops in the Majors in that span.
Crain also holds the distinction of having the lowest career ERA in ML history against Texas Rangers (minimum 20 innings), with no earned runs allowed in 29 innings over 25 appearance.
Prior to his professional career, Crain starred at both San Jacinto Junior College in Houston and at the University of Houston, earning all-conference honors at both schools. After being selected by Minnesota in the second round of the 2002 June Draft, Crain made his debut on Aug. 5, 2004 against the Angels.