The Astros have the front end of their rotation set, but still have questions when it comes to the last two spots. Could Brad Peacock return as a starter?
Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, and Lance McCullers Jr. are currently locked in as the Astros top three starters. With Houston’s monetary constraints and the free-agent market dwindling, the #4 and #5 spots in the rotation could come from within the Astros organization. Jose Urquidy may already have the inside track for one slot, could Peacock join him?
If the Astros do decide to stand pat and go with what they already have, there are a lot of options out there. They could go with an experienced starter like Brad Peacock. Then, there is the possibility of using a young prospect like Bryan Abreu that showed a lot of promise late last season, or maybe it’s time for Forrest Whitley to come up to the Major Leagues and see if he can play with the big boys.
Going with the experienced Brad Peacock may be the safest route to go, rather than throwing two inexperienced prospects into the mix. Peacock had a successful beginning in this past season, going 5-2 with a 3.17 ERA through April and May. It was in June that everything went south when he went 1-4 and had a 6.39 ERA for the month.
That performance in June was could likely the result of him attempting to fight through the pain of shoulder issues he was experiencing. He missed all of July and a large portion of August before returning to pitch the remainder of the season out of the bullpen. If he proves to be healthy and gains his full strength back, he could be a strong candidate for the rotation.
There are still a lot of questions to be answered and the offseason isn’t over yet. The Astros could still make a move via free agency or a trade, but if need be, there are internal options as well. It will be interesting to see how it pans out and Spring Training will play a big part in the decision making.