This September has confirmed one key truth in baseball: you can never have enough pitching. The Houston Astros know this all too well now.
Between the injuries to Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers, the Houston Astros have found themselves shorthanded in the starting pitcher department. Not to mention that the team’s rotation has been amongst the worst in September.
Starting Rotation in September 2016: 7.54 ERA/5.94 FIP/5.81 xFIP
This has forced the Astros to give certain pitchers another look in search for quality starts. One such pitcher is a name familiar to Houston fans: Brad Peacock.
Opinion on Peacock has swayed from promising right-hander on a rebuilding club to an almost afterthought on the 40-man roster today. Prior ineffectiveness and later injury has contributed to this prevailing thought, at least amongst the fan base. Fair or unfair, that has been the case of Peacock.
That doesn’t mean the Astros shouldn’t give Peacock another chance to prove himself.
Let’s face the truth; this team is most likely not making the playoffs. Barring a miraculous run, the Astros will be on the outside looking in this October.
Could they be better off taking an extended look at certain players (i.e., Peacock) to determine their potential value to the club for next season, especially with two-fifths of the rotation on the DL?
Sure, Peacock’s numbers have not been particularly noteworthy in the minors this season. During his time with Fresno, the 28-year old starter posted a 4.23 ERA/4.92 RAvg in 117 innings.
But it appears that Peacock may have found something in his latest stint with the Astros, even though the sample size is small.
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In 16.2 innings since late August, Peacock has posted a 2.70 ERA. All but one of those appearances have come in relief, however, his latest start when he held the Texas Rangers to just one run in six innings provides a glimmer of hope. Of course, that is just one start and his 4.88 FIP is definitely a cause for concern.
So, I say let Peacock start until he proves otherwise. Love or hate the idea, you might as well. He’s already on the 40-man roster so see where he stands. If the Astros are pleased with his results then there is one more arm in the mix for the rotation. That’s a good thing. If he doesn’t, well, the Astros can either move him to the ‘pen or designate him for assignment and both parties can move on.
At the end of the day, I still believe that Peacock retains some value. In fact, he could eventually be a cheaper, less experienced version of Scott Feldman in the bullpen next year if a rotation gig isn’t in the cards. But the Astros could actually have an opening or two in their rotation next year so why leave any stone unturned?
**Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference and Fangraphs**