The Astros will activate Collin McHugh from the disabled list to start Sunday’s game against the Miami Marlins. A corresponding roster move has yet to be announced.
— Houston Astros (@astros) July 26, 2014
McHugh last pitched for the Astros on July 6th in Anaheim, exiting after only four innings with blister and fingernail issues on his pitching hand. McHugh’s 4-8 record is not an accurate reflection of how well he has pitched this season. Since being called up from AAA in April, McHugh has established himself as a mainstay in the Houston rotation.
In 14 starts covering 82 & 1/3 innings McHugh has held opposing batters to a .193 average. He is averaging 10.17 strikeouts and 3.61 walks per nine innings. In short, the 27-year old waiver claim from the Rockies has been one of the most pleasant surprises Astros fans have been treated to this season.
McHugh threw 80 pitches in a AAA rehab start Tuesday and was pronounced ready to return to the big club. In five innings, McHugh gave up one run on three hits and a walk while striking out five.
With Collin returning to the rotation, the question has to be asked… who’s the odd man out? That decision may not have even been made yet. Brett Oberholtzer has pitched well enough, in my opinion, to stay in the rotation. Brad Peacock has had two horrible outings in a row and would be my first choice to be relegated to the bullpen. But someone has to be removed from the 25-man roster to make room for McHugh.
Jake Buchanan and Josh Zeid are both candidates for a demotion to AAA, with Buchanan perhaps being the most likely. If the Astros want to keep an extra arm in the ‘pen, I wouldn’t have a problem sending Marc Krauss back to OKC.