Astros can’t wait for Brad Peacock to return to the bullpen

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 29: Brad Peacock
HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 29: Brad Peacock /

Brad Peacock’s days of starting for the Astros may be drawing near, but it’s not a bad thing!

People who own Brad Peacock in fantasy baseball may be getting some bad news after the All-Star break. When this Astros rotation gets healthy, it’s not hard to visualize who the odd man out will be. Charlie Morton and Joe Musgrove are set to return to the rotation this week. Mike Fiers has earned his keep with his performance in June.

Collin McHugh will make his second rehab start of the season for the Hooks. While Dallas Keuchel is still a week or so away from rehab. Musgrove may replace David Paulino in the rotation for now, but could lose his spot when McHugh and Keuchel returns.

So will Peacock, but that’s not a bad thing.

As a starter, Peacock has been alright with a 3-1 record with a 3.51 ERA while striking out 51 hitters in 33 1/3 innings. Any team would like that arm to be in the rotation, so why would the Astros put him back in the bullpen?

Like Chris Devenski, Peacock is too valuable as a reliever. With the starters struggling to go deep into games, it’s an asset to have Peacock to eat up some quality innings. Out of the bullpen, Peacock is 2-0 with a 1.10 ERA while striking out 22 hitters in 16 1/3 innings.

Won’t he have a larger impact in the rotation?

Yes, his arm is valuable as a starter. However, he may only be a five inning plus starter. This season in seven starts, he has only gone six innings once. He can be effectively wild, which hurts him more as a starter. Peacock has also become a king of strikeouts at a 13.2 per nine innings pitched.

The walks and high strikeout rate will lead to more pitches like Mike Fiers experienced Sunday. However, out of the bullpen, he can be more effective not holding back on his pitches. Every team needs a long-reliever and Devenski has earned the trust to pitch in high leverage situations.

No one else can do what he does!

The Astros hoped that Michael Feliz could fit in that role, but he is pretty much a one inning pitcher now. The team has or can trade for a starting pitcher who can go 5-6 innings. They can’t trade for someone like Peacock who can come in and save the bullpen for 2-3 innings.

At the start of the season, the starters were going deep into games and the bullpen was crisper. Now, A.J. Hinch has to piece together the bullpen when a starter comes up short. This leads to Nori Aoki pitching in a blowout.

Once Peacock returns home to the bullpen, Hinch can use Devenski in more critical situations. The bullpen will start to normalize and Peacock will continue to soar. We talked about this on Talking Stros this week.

Next: Astros: Were Devenski, Gonzalez, McCann, and Reddick snubbed?

As Buster Olney mentioned in an interview with me, overuse of the bullpen in June and July leads to struggles in October. Plus, we won’t see this constant rotation of Dayan Diaz, Ashur Tolliver, and Reymin Guduan. That would be a good one!

***Stats from Baseball-Reference***