Saturday, September 25

Who is Kent Emanuel? Astros rookie dazzles in MLB debut

Kent Emanuel wants you to know that he should have made his major league debut in 2020, not 2021. He blames MLB for that, and we’ll see why in a minute.

First, however, is the question of what Emanuel accomplished when he finally appeared in his first game. The Astros rookie replaced injured starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (forearm strain) with one out in the first inning and then worked the remaining 8 2/3 frames in Houston’s 16-2 win over the Angels.

Emanuel allowed two runs, five hits and no walks with five strikeouts. It only took 90 pitches (65 strikes) to drive Los Angeles back.

MORE: Panic or patience with five slow starters, teams?

So on that supposed delayed debut – that’s the first article in SN’s quick sketch from baseball’s latest snap-news maker.

Emanuel’s jersey number is 0 for a very specific reason

The digit is for “how many games deserved to be suspended” by PED last August, Emanuel said this week after his call from the Astros’ alternate site. MLB suspended Emanuel for 80 games last August after he tested positive for DHCMT, or oral turinabol. Emanuel said at the time that you did not knowingly ingest a steroid.

“I don’t know how 7 picograms of the long-term metabolite of DHCMT got into my system,” he said in a statement released through the MLB Players Association. “But I know that I have never knowingly or intentionally taken oral turinabol.” He wants MLB to adopt a 100 picogram threshold for suspensions. He also wonders if “Oral-T” really improves performance.

The 28-year-old Emanuel was coming off his best minor league season when he was forced to stay out of the 60-game 2020 season and the start of the Astros’ 2021 season. He was reinstated from the restricted list Thursday and promoted to the majors to replace pitcher Nivaldo Rodriguez, who was moved to the alternate site.

Emanuel joined the Astros organization in the middle of his tank.

Houston selected the left-hander from the University of North Carolina in 2013 with the first pick of the third round. Houston also took on college pitchers with its top two picks: Mark Appel and Andrew Thurman. Both were busts, although Appel is reportedly attempting to return.

The Astros lost 107 games in 2012, earning them the first pick in each round next year. They lost 111 games in 2013 (and then lost to the first overall pick in the 2014 draft, Brady Aiken) before beginning their rise through the ranks.

Emanuel did not contribute to the revival because he was not good enough. From 2015-18, he posted a 3.68, 5.23, 7.71, 4.60 and 5.59 ERA in his various minor league saves. His 3.90 ERA at Triple-A in 2019 earned him a shot at Houston.

Emanuel was Colin Moran’s college and professional teammate

Moran was such a good hitter for the Tar Heels that the Marlins selected him sixth overall in 2013. Miami traded him to the Astros in July 2014, at the end of the Houston tank, in a six-player prospect exchange he sent. Enrique Hernández to the Marlins. and Jake Marisnick to the Astros.

Moran and Emanuel played together with Double-A Corpus Christi in 2015 and both were on the Triple-A Fresno roster in 2017.

The Astros then used Moran as a trade token the winter after the Astros won the 2017 World Series. He was traded with Joe Musgrove, Michael Feliz and Jason Martin to the Pirates for right-hander Gerrit Cole in January 2018.

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