HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have signed left-handed pitcher Joe Thatcher to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. The announcement was made by Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow.
Thatcher, 33, posted a 2-1 record and a 3.86 ERA (13ER/30.1IP) in 53 relief appearances with Arizona (37g) and Los Angeles-AL (16g) last season. He recorded 27 strikeouts and walked just four hitters in his 30.1 innings of work. Thatcher has held left-handed hitters to a .230 (101x439) average over the course of his eight Major League seasons with San Diego (2007-2013), Arizona (2013-14) and Los Angeles-AL (2014).
Thatcher is now one of 20 non-roster players invited to Astros Spring Training camp, which gives them a total of 60 players (28 pitchers, 32 position players) at Major League camp, including a full 40-man roster.
The Astros equipment truck is leaving for Kissimmee, Fla., this afternoon in preparation for Spring Training report dates for pitchers and catchers (next Friday) and position players (Feb. 24).