Brad Peacock soars in his first start of the season for the Houston Astros!
The Houston Astros have broken the seal of Brad Peacock in the starting rotation. He started last night in place of team ace Dallas Keuchel who is on the DL with a pinched nerve. Keuchel is only expected to miss one start and could return to the mound Saturday versus the Orioles. The move was one that was more precautionary. It could be reactive to another move to be made soon. Was this a spot-start by Peacock?
On this week’s Talking Stros on Sports Talk 790, my co-host Brandon talked about Peacock. We made predictions about how many innings he would pitch last night. Before that start, the most pitches he has thrown in a game was 39 on April 23. Peacock had not pitched more than two innings in any appearance this year. I thought that he would throw four innings, Brandon said five innings.
No matter how you rule the bet, you can’t help but be impressed with Peacock’s effort last night. Making his first start since he got pounded by the Angels in his final start last season, Peacock looked good. Throwing 70 pitches, Peacock goes 4 1/3 shutout innings with two walks and eight strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 0.87 with 30 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings. Next to Chris Devenski, Peacock is one of the surprises of 2017.
It was not guaranteed that Peacock would remain on the 40-man roster this Spring. Because he was out of options, he pitched his way onto the team. Yes, Collin McHugh‘s dead arm helped him make the team, but he earned it with his play. The Astros liked what they saw last September and didn’t want to lose him. He was part of a combined one-hitter last night versus the Tigers.
Keep him in coach!
Now that we have broken the seal, why not just keep him in the rotation? You know you want to A.J. Hinch! We already have Devenski and Michael Feliz as the long-reliever options in the bullpen. James Hoyt could work his way up the pecking order pretty soon as well, so Peacock can make a move.
Read this carefully. I don’t want Peacock to replace Keuchel. No one can replace what he does, and hopefully, he will be back soon. Mike Fiers and Joe Musgrove have struggled this season. Much was expected from the young and talented Musgrove, but control problems are derailing his season. Coming up in the minors, control was one of his best assets. These control problems are allowing more runners on base.
Musgrove gave up seven runs in three innings Sunday after walking three hitters. His ERA is up to 5.63 with 37 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings. The future is still bright for the young righty, but maybe a trip down to Triple-A will do him a little good. The Astros will not give up on Musgrove for the long-term.
Then there is Fiers, who is suffering from the solo homer and control blues this year. Fiers has a 5.12 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 42 innings so far this year. While Fiers doesn’t have a great history in the bullpen, he could be a good fit for the mop-up role in the bullpen. If Jordan Jankowski pitches well, the Astros could send Musgrove down when Keuchel returns. Peacock deserves a chance!
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***