On February 26th, I profiled Astros pitching prospect Thomas “Tip” Fairchild, who was entering 2009 trying to bounce back from Tommy John surgery he’d undergone in 2007. Unfortunately, his hometown newspaper reported that the Astros released Fairchild.
Oddly, this comes on the heels of what is reportedly one of Fairchild’s best springs. He turned 25 in December, and has fallen to at least fifth, if not lower, among right-handed pitching prospects in the Houston organization. But, to be fair, he had Tommy John surgery.
I’m not very fond of this move, which should come as no surprise to anyone. I think this is the season when the Astros would have been well-served to at least have him begin the season in the Corpus Christi rotation, with a possible promotion to Round Rock’s bullpen if he looked healthy.
He’s staying in Florida to try and audition for another team, but everyone is breaking camp now, which makes it a very tough time for him to catch on with someone. I don’t know if Tip will ever pitch professionally again, but I really hope someone gives him a shot. In the 2006 season, before his surgery, he led all Astros minor leaguers in wins (14), strikeouts (142), and
innings (173), all while carrying the fifth-best ERA, with a 2.45.
If he’s anywhere near his old form, he can still be very productive.