Watch: Texans QB C.J. Stroud throws out first pitch at Astros game

C.J. Stroud might be the Houston Texans’ starting quarterback, but the team across town might need to borrow him for six frames in the not-so-distant future.

Stroud, the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, threw out the first pitch Monday night before the Houston Astros took on the Atlanta Braves at Minute Maid Park. Much like in the 2022 World Series, the Braves would go on to win 6-1.

Houston’s pitching has been downright putrid to begin the year under new manager Joe Espada, posting a team ERA of 5.35. Stroud, who grew up playing all sports, but thrived on the gridiron and the hard court, delivered a perfect strike to first baseman Jon Singleton, though any professional big-league would have taken him yard before rounding the bases.

Unlike the Astros, the Texans are looking to progress following a breakout season behind Stroud, Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr., and new coach DeMeco Ryans. Houston was one of the more aggressive teams in free agency, spending $178.5 million this offseason in guaranteed money,

Stroud, who became the fifth rookie passer in league history to throw for 4,000-plus yards in Year 1, should only benefit from a revamped offensive arsenal. The Texans not only re-signed tight end Dalton Schultz to a three-year extension, but also traded draft capital to acquire running back Joe Mixon and receiver Stefon Diggs. 

Last season, Stroud led the NFL in passing yards per game (274) and touchdown-to-interception ratio (23-5). He was named a Pro Bowler, where his relationship began to grow with Diggs off the field. Anderson, whom the Texans traded up nine spots to acquire at No. 3, also earned a Pro Bowl nod after breaking J.J. Watt’s rookie sack record (7.0).

Maybe the duo could launch the Astros’ back up the leaderboards? Stroud would be a flamethrowing ace with time, and Anderson likely could compete with Yordan Álvarez at designated hitter.

Stroud and the Texans are back in the building for voluntary workouts. Next week, a slew of new players will join the franchise via the NFL draft.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire