Astros add Gose as pitcher via Rule 5 Draft

Former full-time outfielder was briefly with Houston in 2010

December 14th, 2017

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Astros hope 's second tenure with the club is a little more memorable than his first.
Gose, who spent less than a day with the Astros in between a pair of trades in 2010, was selected by the club from the Rangers in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, which capped the Winter Meetings. Gose, a former Major League outfielder, was selected as a left-handed pitcher and will come to camp competing for a roster spot on the big league club.
"We thought he had the best stuff in the Draft," Astros special assistant to the general manager Kevin Goldstein said. "Obviously, because of his lack of experience, it's going to be a bit of a long shot, but we decided to take the gamble because the upside was so good."
By selecting Gose and signing free-agent reliever Joe Smith , the Astros' 40-man roster is full. Gose must remain on the team's active roster all season or be offered back to the Rangers. That may be hard to do considering he only recently switched to pitcher from hitter, but the Astros think it's a risk worth taking.
Gose throws a fastball in the upper 90s with what Goldstein described as a very effective power breaking ball. "It has both velocity and a lot of depth," he said.
"We're a team that sees itself as returning to the postseason, we hope," Goldstein said. "It's not the kind of thing we just kind of hang onto and see how he develops. He needs to earn his job this spring on merit. We'll take a look at him as a potential left-handed bullpen piece."

Gose, 27, spent his 2017 season in Detroit's organization, when he saw his first action as a pitcher. He made 11 relief appearances with Class A Lakeland, recording 14 strikeouts against six walks and a .189 opponent batting average. He has appeared in 372 career big league games as an outfielder with the Blue Jays (2012-14) and Tigers (2015-16) and is a .240 career hitter.
If he makes the club, the Astros could have the luxury of using him in other ways -- pinch-runner, defensive replacement, etc. He could even come in from the outfield and face a batter and go back to the outfield. For now, the Astros are focused on him as a pitcher.
"He'll get an opportunity and he certainly has interesting weapons," general manager Jeff Luhnow said.
:: Rule 5 Draft coverage ::
Gose was originally a second-round pick by Philadelphia in 2008 and was traded to Houston in 2010 along with left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ and infielder in exchange for right-handed pitcher Roy Oswalt. He was traded by Houston on that same day to Toronto in exchange for infielder .
The Astros lost right-handed pitcher Elieser Hernandez in the first round of the Rule 5 Draft to the Marlins.
In the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft, Houston selected left-handed pitcher Chris Nunn from the Chicago Cubs.
Nunn, 24, made four starts with Double-A Tennessee last season, posting a 4.76 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 17 innings. He missed the entire 2016 season, but has made 180 career Minor League appearances, posting a 20-5 record, a 4.06 ERA and 256 strikeouts in 230 1/3 innings. He was originally a 24th-round pick by San Diego in the 2012 Draft.