Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jeff Roberson/AP/Shutterstock (13772600y) Houston Astros pitcher Shawn Dubin walks between fields during spring training baseball practice, in West Palm Beach, Fla Astros Baseball, West Palm Beach, United States – 17 Feb 2023
Astros Player of the Day: Shawn Dubin
Welcome to Gallery Sports’ Houston Astros Spring Training player spotlight: Astros Player of the Day. We will look at a different Astros player each day throughout the spring.
Today’s Astros Player of the Day is starting pitcher Shawn Dubin.
Selected by the Astros in the 13th round of the 2018 MLB Draft, Dubin was one of many players who made the jump from High-A to Triple-A thanks to the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dubin’s 2021 season was strong enough to lead many to believe he could make his MLB debut in 2022 after posting a 4-3 record with a 3.44 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over 49.2 IP with Sugar Land in the very hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League (known in 2022 as Triple-A West). He also struck out 69 for an eye-popping 12.5 K/9 rate.
His 2022 season didn’t take off as hoped, as Dubin dealt with forearm pain and struggled badly in May and into June before winding up on the IL. At the time of his injury, Dubin had a 6.00 ERA and 1.64 WHIP in 36 innings and didn’t look anything like the future major leaguer he did the season before. Dubin would not return to the Space Cowboys for two months.
When he returned, he looked much more like the blossoming starter he was in 2021, posting a 2.59 ERA and 1.11 WHIP while striking out 28 in 24.1 IP.
If Dubin can carry over his late-season success through spring training, he could be the first man up should Lance McCullers Jr. need a stint on the IL for a protracted period. Manager Dusty Baker intimated that the six-man rotation is here to stay for the Astros during the team’s Fan Fest event. Additionally, Dubin could be used as a bullpen weapon due to his ability to consistently get left-handed batters out, holding them to a .225 batting average last season.
While he will not likely begin the year on the main roster barring injury, Dubin will probably be a contributor to the 2023 Astros at some point this season.