Houston Astros: Forrest Whitley needs opportunity to compete for starting rotation

The time is now for Forrest Whitley to get a crack at the starting rotation for the Houston Astros, who need to either play him or protect him.

There is currently a timeline on the future of Forrest Whitley. The Houston Astros are on the clock and a decision needs to be made about the 2016 first round pick prior to the November 20th deadline to put prospects on the 40-man roster or make them available in the Rule V draft.

I’ve seen Whitley’s minor league numbers. They are not inspiring. He has reached as high as Triple-A, and those numbers are even worse. Why does he deserve a spot on the roster?

Whitley just turned 23 years old, and there was a reason the Astros used the 17th overall pick in the draft on him. Too much has been invested in this six-foot-seven-inch right handed pitcher, to let him leave via the Rule V draft.

There are a handful of rebuilding teams out there who will draft Whitley and keep him on the major league roster for the entirety of the season, just to have him and develop him for the future.

As the Houston Astros limped into the playoffs with a 29-31 record, the starting rotation was not to blame for the futile record, lack of offensive production was.

Cristian Javier and Framber Valdez exceeded expectations while Zack Greinke held his own. Lance McCullers was up and down, as we thought he would be in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. Jose Urquidy will have a spot in the rotation, but Brandon Bielak and Josh James should be relegated to bullpen duty.

Whitley should be added to the 40-man roster and given every opportunity to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation come spring training. Putting him on the roster protects him from other teams taking him.

For a guy whose name is constantly thrown around in trade rumors, the Houston Astros would be selling low on the guy right now. Give him time to develop and grow in the minor leagues. Or give him the opportunity to make the big league roster. Don’t let him be plucked out of the system for $100,000.