Astros: Brad Peacock may be out of starting competition
By Brian Murray
Astros dual-purpose pitcher, Brad Peacock, suffered yet another setback placing him in jeopardy of losing out in the race to make the starting rotation.
The Astros have slowed down the throwing program of Brad Peacock this spring after he felt some nerve pain in his neck. This setback may have him on the outside, looking in when it comes to the group of pitchers vying for the last two starting spots.
This is an all too familiar situation for Peacock after missing nearly the entire second half of the season last year. Peacock was placed on the Injured List back in late June of 2019 for discomfort in his right shoulder. After a setback in his rehab, Peacock finally rejoined the team and pitched his first game on August 20th.
Peacock started feeling a sharp pain in his shoulder in the three appearances after returning to the team, but it was more severe than previously. There was also a small but noticeable decline in the velocity of his pitches. He returned to the Injured List on August 28th. It was determined that the shoulder discomfort he had been experiencing stemmed from a nerve issue in his neck.
According to reports, that same nerve problem has returned and the Astros have determined it best to reduce his throwing program and ease him back slowly. This will obviously put him behind the curve in the competition among pitchers to round out the starting rotation.
Peacock was one of the pitchers that seemed to have the inside track considering his experience as a starter. As recently as 2017, he started 21 games for the Astros and ended the season with a 13-2 record and an ERA of 3.00. Last season he started in 15 of his 23 appearances and had an ERA of 4.24 in those starts.
Who will fill the last two spots behind Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, and Lance McCullers Jr. is one of the big questions going into spring training. With the late-season success of Jose Urquidy, he is one of the favorites early on in the competition. The recently acquired Austin Pruitt also may have the upper hand over the rest. But everyone will be closely monitoring Josh James, Framber Valdez, and Rogelio Armenteros as strong candidates.