Best Houston Astro (2001)

Octavio Dotel

When Octavio Dotel came to the Astros from the Mets in 1999, he saw himself as a starter, not a reliever. As he kept getting driven from games by opposing batters last season, he still saw himself as a starter simply going through a rough patch. And when he was demoted to the bullpen earlier this year, he saw himself as a starter who would soon work his way back into the glamour of the rotation and away from the drudgery of middle relief. Since then, Dotel has accepted the reliever's role -- and thrived in it. Billy Wagner gets the high-profile job of closing most games, but Dotel is having perhaps the best season in the majors for a setup man, the guy who gets a team through the seventh and eighth innings. It's a position that has killed the Astros in the past, and a good setup man is golden for a team making a pennant run. Dotel's decision to take one for the team and accept what he perceived as a demotion has been one of the turning points for the home team this year.


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