Fairchild Released

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. 

Fairchild.jpgOddly, 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.


  1. hooksfan

    It doesn’t surprise me that he was released by the Houston Astros. For the past couple of years pitching has been one of the weak spots in the Astros organization and what I had a chance to see of Tip Fairchild last year with the Corpus Christi Hooks really didn’t impress me. In the first game that he pitched last year with the Hooks he was pulled after the first couple of innings…he really looked bad. He had a lot of wild pitches. What I think would benefit Tip, would be to be demoted to Single A and get some of his confidence back. Twins pitcher, Francisco Liriano had the same surgery and he was demoted because his mechanics looked bad and the Twins organization wanted him to work on his confidence level. That demotion worked out for him as the Twins called him back up to the Majors toward the end of the year and the catchers noticed a big improvement.

  2. roundrock15

    It surprises me because of the timing. A pitcher’s first year back from Tommy John surgery is usually bad. He has to re-learn how to pitch, basically. He’d probably be better served to take a year off (not Fairchild specifically; any player who has this surgery,) because his stuff is going to change.

    But I kept hearing what a great Spring he was having this year, which is what surprised me about the move. I realize Tip isn’t getting any younger – And a 25-year-old in Single A ball isn’t going to cut it anywhere. Liriano was just 23 when he went to Ft. Myers.


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