Astros: Brad Peacock goes on IL, season likely finished

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 26: Brad Peacock #41 of the Houston Astros delivers the pitch against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning in Game Four of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 26: Brad Peacock #41 of the Houston Astros delivers the pitch against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning in Game Four of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Brad Peacock’s season is likely done, and his future with the Houston Astros is up in the air.

The Houston Astros got some good news on Friday when lefthanded reliever Blake Taylor was activated from the Injured List, meaning Dusty Baker gets his best bullpen arm back. What it also means, unfortunately, is that Brad Peacock’s season is likely finished after he was placed on the IL with shoulder discomfort.

Peacock has missed most of the season with shoulder issues, and he spent time on the IL with shoulder issues in 2019 as well. He worked his way back to the field and made three appearances this year, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk in 2.1 innings. But he reportedly told the team his shoulder wasn’t right, prompting his being placed back on the IL.

It was pretty easy to tell something was off with him. Peacock’s velocity was down by a noticeable amount and the stats show it. His sinker, which averaged 91.8 mph in 2019, was at 89.7 mph in his three appearances this year. His slider and his four-seamer also exhibited similar slowdowns.

It’s been a rough go of it for the 32-year-old, who went from being a solid member of the starting rotation in the first half of 2019 to being almost an afterthought now. I certainly had hope that he would get healthy and rebound this year, but that won’t be the case now, and it leaves some uncertainty for him as he heads into 2021.

The End of the Road?

Peacock is set to hit free agency this offseason, so there’s a very real chance he’s thrown his last pitch with the Astros. He had a great run in 2017 and 2018, working to a combined 3.15 ERA in 197 innings while spending time in both the rotation and the bullpen. All told, he’s compiled a 4.08 ERA in parts of eight seasons in Houston.

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His market this winter is going to be dependent on his health, so we’ll see if he ends up having some type of surgery now that his season is done. If he’s able to pitch in 2021, he’ll likely have to settle for a one-year, incentive-laden deal and fight for a roster spot somewhere, but he certainly has the talent to make good on such a contract if he’s healthy.

With that being the case, it’s entirely possible the Astros will bring him back. They’re in need of bullpen help for next season, and if they think Peacock will be ready, it’s certainly worth a shot to retain a familiar face on a low-risk deal. Can’t have too many high-upside arms in the organization, and they’re a bit short on veteran experience right now.

But if this really is the end for Peacock in Houston, it’s been a good run. He turned out to be the biggest prize in the Feb. 2013 trade with Oakland in which the Astros also acquired Chris Carter and Max Stassi in exchange for Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez. It was another shrewd move that helped build the foundation for the team’s success over the past few years.

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