Astros: Peacock’s velocity could factor into deadline plans

Brad Peacock might not give the Houston Astros the boost they’d hoped in their bullpen.

It’s no secret that the Houston Astros are on the hunt for pitching help as the trade deadline nears. They’ve been linked to Matt Barnes and Robbie Ray thus far and will surely kick the tires on just about everyone else, especially the relievers. One thing that could force GM James Click’s hand is the status of Brad Peacock, which suddenly looks ominous.

He’s apparently been throwing down in Corpus Christi for a while, and the hope has been that the veteran would be back soon to add an experienced arm to a bullpen that has plenty of rookies. But the latest news coming from manager Dusty Baker is that Peacock’s velocity is down, which doesn’t bode well at all.

Peacock has apparently been dealing with shoulder issues since last season when he missed the majority of the second half. He’s yet to pitch this year, and it’s not looking good for the impending free agent if his velocity is still down after all this time. It could point to there being a more serious issue at play.

The Outlook

If the Astros can’t count on a healthy Peacock returning to the bullpen, Click might have to be more aggressive in his pursuit of relief pitching prior to Monday’s trade deadline. There have been some nice surprises, namely Blake Taylor, Enoli Paredes and Andre Scrubb, but there have also been some disappointments and several injuries.

Chris Devenski is due back soon, and although he was excellent in 2016 and 2017, he simply hasn’t been the same pitcher since. Joe Biagini could be on the way out, and there may not be much more help coming from within the organization. If the Astros are to make a playoff run, they’ll need reinforcements.

Jose Urquidy is nearing a return, so that’ll be a nice boost for the rotation. That group otherwise appears to be set, so expect the front office to focus on finding one or two relievers, especially given the fact that there may not be a veteran like Peacock coming back to be a real difference maker in the late innings.