Ex-Astros pitcher regrets not being ‘brave’ enough to stop sign-stealing scandal: ‘It was tough watching that’

Right-hander Collin McHugh spent six seasons with the Houston Astros, including the 2017 World Series season where the club was found to have illegally used technology in order to steal signs. Now, McHugh, a member of the Boston Red Sox, who are under MLB investigation for allegations of sign stealing during their 2018 championship season, is sharing his regret about the club’s cheating scandal. Here’s what he told ESPN on Friday:

“You’ve got to be willing to stick up for what you believe in and what you believe is right and what you believe is wrong. And I think a lot of the guys on that team, including myself, are looking back now and wishing we had been as brave in the moment as we thought we were beforehand.

Looking back, I don’t know what we could have done as pitchers. It wasn’t really our territory. Maybe we could’ve gotten together and somehow tried to stop it. Yeah, it was tough watching that. You feel for guys out there who are working their tails off whether they’re on your team or against you. I love seeing good pitching and it took some really good pitching that year to beat us.”

McHugh, 32, went 58-35 with a 3.63 ERA overall during his time in Houston. He initially began his Astros stint as a starting pitcher before transitioning to being used primarily out of the bullpen. Last season, McHugh appeared on the mound as both a starter and reliever. In 2017, McHugh pitched in two postseason games. He no-hit the Yankees through four innings of relief in Game 3 of the ALCS and gave up three runs in two innings of work against the Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series.

“To put myself in the shoes of the guys who pitched against us in 2017 and to know that our hitters made that job that much harder that year. It’s hard to swallow. And I feel for them and I understand the anger and I understand when people are mad and pissed off,” McHugh told ESPN. “I get it. I’ve been there. I know what it feels like to be out there and feel like a team has your signs. It’s a lonely place.”

McHugh will likely begin the 2020 season on the injured list as he continues to recover from a right elbow procedure that cut his 2019 season short. However, McHugh is projected to slot into Boston’s rotation once healthy and his one-year contract allows him to earn up to $3 million in performance bonuses and $650,000 in roster bonuses.

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