Astros: Peacock making it a one-man race for 5th spot
Brad Peacock’s performance this Spring has all but solidified his shot for the Houston Astros’ fifth spot in the starting rotation.
The competition for the role as the final starting pitcher has all but ended. Peacock has had a stellar Spring Training up to this point, proving that he is more than capable of coming out of the bullpen and once again assuming the position as a starter for the Astros this season.
Peacock pitched in his third game of the Spring yesterday, and as he has done in the two prior appearances, he failed to give up one single earned run. He has now pitched in eight innings and has an ERA of 0.00 ceding only four hits and one walked batter. Peacock has allowed the opposing teams a .143 batting average while accumulating five strikeouts.
According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, Astros’ manager A. J. Hinch stated, “Brad was good. He was a little less sharp than he normally is just because of where we are in Spring Training. He had good innings and was fine. It’s standard operation Brad Peacock — pretty clean outing and got his outs.”
With Josh James still rehabbing a strained quad, Framber Valdez was the assumed leading prospect in the running for the 5th spot. Unfortunately for Valdez, Spring Training has been somewhat of a disappointment. He has pitched in four games so far this Spring and has yielded six earned runs and 13 hits in 9.1 innings. His control continues to plague him, walking five batters and allowing hitters to get ahead in the strike count.
"“His command inside the strike zone today was a little rough, which is why the ball was elevated a little bit, he couldn’t land his breaking ball and he got hit pretty hard,” Hinch said following yesterdays outing."
If Peacock can emulate the performance he had as a starter in 2017, when he went 13-2 with a 3.00 ERA, the Astros would never look back and regret their decision allowing him to reprise his role as a starter. But after all, there is still two weeks of Spring Training left.