Lucas Harrell knows where he stands

Lucas Harrell knows where he stands
January 14, 2014, 1:15 pm
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Harrell on last season: 'It was tough'

May 4, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Lucas Harrell (64) walks off the field during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park.

(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

The 2013 season started with Lucas Harrell just missing out on being the Astros’ opening day starter. It ended with him out of the rotation with an uncertain future with the team.

“It was tough. When you struggle and try to dig yourself out of a hole,” Harrell said. “I was kind of my own worst enemy, I was trying to get myself out of a funk. I was trying too hard.“

Harrell, who had a 3-2 record with a 3.60 ERA in April last year, slumped terribly over the next 100 days, going 2-11 with an ERA over 5. Eventually Harrell lost his spot in the rotation and finished the season with a 6-17 record and an ERA of 5.86.

“I felt like the pressure was on me because it was pressure I put on myself. I hold myself to a high standard,” Harrell said. “I feel like I want to go out there every time and not necessarily put up zeroes but go out there and give our team a chance to win. And quite a few of the games before I was taken out of the rotation I wasn’t giving us a chance to win.”

As the Astros headed to the offseason, Harrell’s future with the team was in doubt. In many ways it still is. The team added starter Scott Feldman to the rotation and a trio of relievers to the bullpen through free agency. There are also a stable of young pitchers who came up through the organization who are ready to compete for a job on the major league staff.

“We’ve got seven or eight guys that are possibly going to be in the rotation. It’s like I did last year and the year before,” Harrell said. “I feel like I’m going to go into spring training, I don’t have a job and have to go out there and perform to win a spot.” 

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