Jake Buchanan (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Rotation debate: Brad Peacock or Jake Buchanan

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Yesterday we learned that Brad Peacock would be recalled from AAA Oklahoma City to start tonight’s game. That meant someone else would have to be removed from the active roster. When Jake Buchanan went out last night and tossed 69 pitches in 3 & 2/3 innings of relief, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Jake would be the odd man out.

Surprise!

Instead, Paul Clemens has been optioned to OKC …again.

So, Buchanan is sticking around. At least for now. And deservedly so. Jake has pitched much better than Clemens. I just figured Buchanan would be optioned because of the rest factor. He’s probably going to need the next couple of days off. Keeping Buchanan in Houston at this time sends a signal. One that Brad Peacock is bound to have received.

Buchanan is ready to step into the starting rotation if Peacock falters. Of course, we could say that Peacock has already faltered. Yes, he has. Apparently the Astros are still hopeful that Brad can experience similar results to last year when he turned his season around after a stint in AAA.

But things are different this time around. Last season Peacock had an extended stay with the RedHawks, making 13 starts. He has made only one AAA appearance this year. On July 29th Brad pitched 5 & 2/3 innings against Round Rock. A 10-day visit to OKC seems like too short of a time period to make the type of adjustments it looked like Brad needed to make. Actually, it seems like less than sufficient punishment for a guy who was pitching as poorly as Peacock was when he was sent down. Brad was knocked out early in his last two starts, picking up a pair of losses in four total innings of work.

I’d say tonight is an extremely important start for Peacock. If he gets hit hard early, there’s no long reliever in the bullpen. He’s going to get a good long look tonight. And if it doesn’t go well, I’d say his spot in the rotation will be handed to Buchanan.

After a rough outing as a starter in his big league debut, Buchanan has pitched fairly well. And he’s been there whenever Bo Porter has needed him. Emergency starter. Extra inning bullpen saver. Buchanan has done the job. Starter waiting in the wings? That could be Jake’s next role.

 

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Tags: Brad Peacock Houston Astros Jake Buchanan

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