Houston Astros pitcher Brad Peacock is getting lost in the shuffle of this crazy season.
In all the hullabaloo of Astros injuries and impending free agency, Houston fans are rightly focused on guys like Justin Verlander and George Springer. But through it all, it seems that veteran Brad Peacock has gotten lost in the shuffle, but his eventual return could pay dividends.
Peacock has not pitched for the team this season as he’s been working his way back from a shoulder issue. He’s been training at the alternate site in Corpus Christi, and the latest news we have on him is from Aug. 15. He threw a live BP session and retired five of the six hitters he faced, throwing 18 total pitches.
That news indicates he isn’t too far from returning, although that timeline is likely interrupted now by the fact that the team had to close the alternate site due to a positive COVID-19 test. There’s no word on how much of a setback that will be for the players who are down there, though the team may have bigger concerns with Tropical Storm Laura bearing down on the Houston area.
Shot in the Arm
The 32-year-old has been one of the team’s more effective pitchers over the past few seasons and has excelled both in the rotation and out of the bullpen. He put up a 3.46 ERA in 2018 pitching almost entirely in relief and fanned more than 13 batters per nine innings.
At this point, it seems likely that’s how the team will use him. He’s set to reach free agency following this season, so he probably wants to get out there as quickly as possible to establish some value. If he threw 18 pitches to live hitters more than a week ago, he might not need much more time before he’s ready.
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The Astros bullpen could certainly use him. Blake Taylor, Enoli Paredes and Andre Scrubb have greatly impressed, and new addition Brooks Raley looks to be a useful addition as well. But just about everyone else has had their struggles, including veterans Ryan Pressly, Chris Devenski and Joe Biagini. If he’s healthy and effective, adding Peacock would be a huge shot in the arm for the relief corps.
If he does prove to be a help, perhaps that’ll convince the Astros to retain him beyond this season. He wouldn’t require a lengthy or costly commitment given his age and recent injury history, and the team will need some pitching help for 2021 regardless of how things go this year. A familiar face wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
But the main thing is getting him ready and into games, and it appears he isn’t too far off. With any luck, he’ll be the kind of bullpen addition the Astros need and will remind fans how important he’s been to this pitching staff over the past few years.