The options to replace Fiers if needed.
Chris Devenski (2-1, 2.29 ERA, 35 K’s in 19 1/3 innings) – This is an intriguing idea, but you would be taking away from a big strength of this team. Devenski can come in and bail a pitcher out of a bases loaded no out situation or pitch three innings late in a game. He is better than Andrew Miller, and we saw his value last year in the World Series. One could argue that Devenski has struggled more with the increased exposure as the season goes.
Michael Feliz (1-0, 2.25 ERA, 13 K’s in 12 innings) – This could happen, but he has not started a game with the Astros in his short career. He has not started a game in the minors since 2015. While he has pitched more than one innings three times this year, he has not pitched more than two innings.
Brad Peacock (2-0, 1.35 ERA, 20 K’s in 13 1/3 innings) – This is the most likely possibility for the Astros. Like Feliz, Peacock has not pitched more than two innings in any of his games. Peacock has rejuvenated his career out of the bullpen this year, adding a few miles per hour on the fastball. However, if you move him into the rotation, he could lose the extra velocity he’s using now.
A look at other candidates.
With Musgrove and Fiers struggles this year, look for the Astros to go out and make a trade soon. There does not seem to be anyone ready at Triple-A. Francis Martes has 12 strikeouts and 12 walks in 12 innings with the Grizzlies. Once his control returns, he could be an option. David Paulino is yet to pitch for Fresno. Brady Rodgers just had Tommy John surgery so that he will be out of action for a while.
Mike Hauschild was returned to the Astros. However, he gave up nine runs Saturday and struggled with the Rangers. Edison Frias was released yesterday after he allowed seven runs in four innings to raise his Triple-A ERA to 6.91. The better pitching prospects are done the road outside of Martes and Paulino.
While the Astros have been scoring runs this year, but you can’t expect to come from behind too often. Fiers and Musgrove will get a few more starts. We need a plan B pretty soon. If it is Peacock, we need to start stretching him out. Either way, the team is playing great baseball!
***Stats from ESPN team stats and Baseball-Reference***