Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Jose Veras spent last season as a reliever for the Milwaukee Brewers, but in retrospect he was also something more: a year-long experiment on the value of those relievers a fan observes day-in and day-out. On the whole, the newest member of the Astros’ bullpen was decent in Milwaukee — he posted a 92 ERA- and a 92 FIP- as well as a sharp 1.39 WPA — but I wager he will not be remembered as such. Why? Inconsistency. Veras’s profile — a fireballer with tremendous stuff but an infuriating inability to locate — played out in his season as a whole. For two long stretches, Veras couldn’t fire strikes and struggled mightily to get outs. Observe, his rolling monthly ERA for the 2012 season: From April 23rd through May 12th, Veras appeared nine times (8.2 innings) and allowed 17 hits, five walks and 11 runs (oddly, no home runs), compiling a minus-0.39 WPA and contributing to three Brewers losses. From July 3rd through July 31st, Veras appeared 11 times (9.2 innings) and allowed 11 hits, six walks and 10 runs (three home runs), compiling a minus-0.25 WPA in parts of five Brewers losses. The latter stretch was especially poorly timed for the Milwaukee district of the court of public opinion. Veras couldn’t hide among the rest of the Brewers bullpen as the unit posted a 5.77 ERA (MLB worst) and 5.01 FIP (NL worst)w in July. The Brewers went 11-14 over the month and dropped eight games in the NL Central standings. It isn’t difficult to understand why the Brewers didn’t feel comfortable tendering a contract to Veras despite his overall solid performance. He is the definition of unreliable and can go bad for weeks at a time. He eventually snaps out of it, as talent and regression suggest he must. But such a pitcher can suck the confidence right out of a manager, and with Veras likely due $3 million in his third and final arbitration season, it was a commitment Milwaukee was unwilling to make. For the Astros, though — a club both without a plan to contend in 2013 as well as one without experienced relievers — Veras fits, if largely as an experiment of their own. Veras’s mid-90s fastball and devastating (when located) curveball come from a violent and difficult to repeat delivery. Quiet things down, and who knows? The physical tools — at 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds, Veras is imposing on the mound — could turn the 32-year-old into more than just an inconsistent middle reliever with flashes of brilliance and incompetence alike (and a nice trade haul with it). Even if Veras remains his old frustrating self, he will be productive enough to be worth Houston’s while, especially once teams start searching for relief help come trade deadline season. The Astros will stomach the bad and take the good — like the 0.98 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 18.1 innings from May 14th through July 1st, between the two horrific stretches — plenty to justify continuing the Jose Veras experiment.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

John Harbaugh: Bill Belichick is best coach of this century

Brandon Jennings suffers horrific Achilles injury

Van Gundy rips Bulls management about Thibs

Harbaugh lands first commitment at Michigan

NFL warns Seahawks about 'obscene gestures'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lane Kiffin will remain with Alabama in 2015

Belichick: Patriots followed 'every rule' prepping footballs

Colts LB Andrew Jackson arrested on DUI charge

Sam Shields: Dez Bryant catch should have counted

Klay Thompson sets NBA record with 37 pts in a quarter

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks passes away

WATCH: Urban, OSU students send message to Mark May

The five best Super Bowl matchups ever

WATCH: Mike Riley gets big welcome at Nebraska game

Leonard Fournette's brother commits to LSU

Bledsoe not happy about other QBs trashing Brady

Red Sox P Joe Kelly predicts he will win Cy Young Award

WATCH: Bill Belichick drops 'My Cousin Vinny' reference

USC sends recruit personalized business cards

Coastal Carolina planning to install teal-colored field

The five most significant Super Bowls of all time

WATCH: J.R. Smith, LeBron half-court alley oop

Sesame Street makes "inflate" the word of the day

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jennings suffers horrific injury

Harbaugh lands first commitment

Seahawks GM: I love Lynch's act

Lane Kiffin staying with Alabama

Belichick goes 'My Cousin Vinny'

Belichick: Patriots followed 'every rule'

Could Patriots have used a sauna?

Klay Thompson scores 37 pts in a quarter

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks passes away

Sesame Street makes "inflate" the word of the day

Which NBA player should get next on a signature shoe deal?

NFL's Deflategate statement doesn't say much

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.