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Astros Pitching Notes: Peacock, Smith nearing return, Urquidy optioned

SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 18: Reliever Joe Smith #38 of the Houston Astros delivers a pitch during the eighth inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on April 18, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. The Astros won the game 7-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 18: Reliever Joe Smith #38 of the Houston Astros delivers a pitch during the eighth inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on April 18, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. The Astros won the game 7-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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Astros pitchers Brad Peacock and Joe Smith are close to returning to the roster, while Jose Urquidy was optioned back to Triple-A.

The Astros could be close to having a regular member of the rotation back. Brad Peacock is set to pitch in a rehab game for Double-A Corpus Christi on Wednesday. If all goes well, he could start Monday’s game against the Angels on regular rest.

This would prevent the Astros from having to go further into their depth to find someone to take Peacock’s place for another turn in the rotation. If this plan holds true, Peacock will only have missed one start during his stint on the IL for shoulder discomfort.

On the season, Peacock is 6-6 with a 4.13 ERA, his numbers inflated a bit by a recent rough stretch. If he can return to form following this brief respite, the Astros will surely be thrilled to have him back.

Smith Gets Shelled

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In what was expected to be his final rehab appearance, reliever Joe Smith coughed up three runs on four hits, including two homers, on Tuesday for the Hooks. Prior to that, he hadn’t allowed a run in four Triple-A appearances and one Double-A appearance.

Smith hasn’t pitched in the majors this year thanks to an Achilles injury, but the Astros will surely welcome the 35-year-old veteran back. He was a solid contributor in 2018, posting a 5-1 record and 3.74 ERA in 56 appearances.

The Astros have yet to formally announce Smith’s return, so time will tell if they’ll activate him before Thursday’s game or if they feel he needs a little more time.

Urquidy Sent Back to Triple-A

After making two starts for the big league club, righthander Jose Urquidy was optioned back to Triple-A Round Rock. He struggled in his brief major league debut, allowing seven runs on 14 hits in six innings spanning those two starts.

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Considering the Astros have yet to announce a starting pitcher for Thursday’s game, Urquidy being optioned means they’ll likely call someone up to take that spot in the rotation. My bet would be on Framber Valdez being the guy, as he could pitch Thursday’s game on regular rest. He’s also looked pretty good since being sent back to Round Rock.

***Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and MiLB.com***

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