Colorado Rockies Old Friend Alert: Collin McHugh Finding A Home In Houston


May 27, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Collin McHugh (31) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Collin McHugh had a very short and poor career in Denver, but the former Colorado Rockies’ pitcher is finding a home in Houston now.

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Remember Collin McHugh? The right-handed pitcher appeared on the scene for the Colorado Rockies in the summer of 2013 after being traded from the New York Mets for Eric Young, Jr.

McHugh made four starts that were, um, bad. Really bad. He allowed 33 hits – including four home runs – in 19 innings across the four starts, and really never gave the Rockies a chance to win a game.

By December 2013, the Rockies had placed him on waivers, and he was off to the races, heading to Houston as a reclamation project after having several very bad outings in the bigs with the Rox and Mets, quickly losing the shine on his fringy prospect status.

And then, in Houston, something happened. McHugh is now… good.

He had an amazing year in 2014, finishing fourth in the American League Rookie Of The Year vote, tossing 154.1 innings across 25 starts, going 11-9 with a  2.73 ERA, and allowing just 117 hits and 41 walks while striking out 157 batters.

What a difference a year makes, and dammit, Collin McHugh, I hate you.

Just kidding — I don’t hate him. I’m actually really happy for him. It’s great to see guys have success in the big leagues, and McHugh is doing that. Even in 2015 across his first 11 starts, he’s still throwing the ball well in the Astros rotation that has now become one of the better staffs in baseball.

McHugh is a testament to finding the right fit, learning the game at the big league level over time, and not giving in once he faces adversity. The Mets’ system wasn’t quite working for him at the big league level, and he was a disaster in Denver, but now – at least for the last 18 months – he’s found a home in Houston. Good for him.

The Rockies will face the Houston Astros next week for four games (two in Houston, two in Denver). If he pitches, this would be the first time he’s faced the Rockies since leaving the organization two winters ago. Perhaps we’ll see McHugh again soon!

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