This season has not gone the way Brad Peacock would have liked. It certainly started off well for the young starter, and it appears to be ending on a high note. The problem though, is that it took Peacock a long time to get there.
Brad Peacock (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
The 25 year old starter was acquired from the Oakland A’s in the offseason as part of the Jed Lowrie trade. After a strong Spring Training, Peacock earned a spot in the rotation to begin the season. And that is where his season began to go downhill.
Peacock was only able to get through 22 innings in April, and it is honestly hard to find many good things to say about his performance prior to being sent down to AAA Oklahoma City. The right hander left Houston sporting a 9.41 ERA, a .309 batting average against, having allowed 29 hits, 13 walks, and perhaps most troubling, seven home runs.
After being demoted, the Astros called upon Peacock for a few brief outings to spell a tired bullpen, but his time in Oklahoma City certainly served him well. In 14 games (13) starts, he went 6-2 and had a 2.73 ERA. When the Astros reinserted him into the rotation for good on August 4th, Peacock’s major league ERA stood at 8.07 for the season.
Eight starts later, Peacock’s ERA for the season now sits at 5.27. That is quite the recovery.
Earlier in the season, he was lucky to get out of the fourth inning or even to qualify for a win, and now he has won four of his last five starts. In only one of his last eight starts, he has failed to get out of the fifth inning, and in only one other start was Peacock unable to last through the sixth inning.
Walks have continued to be a problem for Peacock (he walked 14 in 29.2 August innings), but he has also struck out 29 batters in that span which is a vast improvement over April. In general, obviously the walks aside, Peacock looks like a different pitcher. His command has improved, as has his comfort level and demeanor on the mound.
Between his 3.94 ERA in August and 2.08 ERA in September, Peacock has done a very good job of putting himself in line for a spot in the rotation to open the 2014 season. I must say, this is not a development I saw coming in the middle of April. I am intrigued to see if he can close out September as well as he began it.
What do you think?