Roger Clemens to pitch for independent Sugar Land Skeeters; Astros scouted him
Clemens worked out for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the South Atlantic League on Monday, and the Astros’ scouting director was in attendance, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
The 50-year-old reportedly hit 87mph on his fastball and showed good command with his breaking stuff. That was enough to convince the Skeeters to sign the seven-time Cy Young Award winner.
“Roger came to work out for us today, and we were very impressed,” said Tal Smith, who is a special advisor for the Sugar Land Skeeters and former president of the Astros.
“He had great command of all his pitches and we couldn’t be more excited about this signing,” Smith said in a press release.
The Astros bullpen catcher caught Clemens and said his splitter was still nasty. Clemens is scheduled to make his first start with the Skeeters on Saturday.
Rosenthal raises the possibility that the Astros could consider signing Clemens to pitch when rosters expand next month because he would be a box office draw. I frankly don’t think it would be a bad idea. I know if Clemens made it back to the big leagues I sure as heck would want to see how he could do at his age.
Another thing to consider is that Clemens may want to pitch again in the majors because it would postpone his appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot. Players are eligible for Hall of Fame voting five years after playing their last big-league game. Clemens will be on the ballot in 2013 and would likely not be seen favorably because of his ties to PED-usage. This might be a way to postpone the embarrassment that would come with receiving a low percentage of votes.
Photo via Sugar Land Skeeters