The Houston Astros’ bullpen is jumping all over the place, so why not take a look at Brad Peacock?
The bullpen has been nothing but lackluster, as it starts to shake off some heavy rust from the past month. Even when the starting pitchers go deep, the late-game arms are struggling to command pitches and keep runners off base.
With the only high-leverage arm currently in Ryan Pressly, the Houston Astros could take a look at an old friend in Brad Peacock. The franchise has stated that they are looking to internal solutions to fix the bullpen, but with Peacock throwing a showcase on Friday, the front office should take a look, because why not?
For close to seven years, Peacock was a diligent starter and reliever for the Astros, that found himself excelling in both roles in the 2017 World Series push. While falling to a shoulder injury in 2020, we never got to see the right-hander make a case for a return, but now, the 33-year-old is looking for a comeback. I pledged for Peacock to return to Houston this past offseason, but now healthy, there is a case to re-sign.
Many older pitchers returning to the game won’t be making high-figured money, and for the Astros’ nearing the luxury tax threshold, a possible minor-league deal could be offered if Peacock catches scouts’ eyes.
The right-hander has never made more than $3.9 million a year, and after falling to injury, a large paycheck wouldn’t be an option for an average arm. This low-cost, intelligent signing would be a veteran option to a young bullpen, and with Joe Smith’s numbers still inflated and now on the 10-day injured list with elbow soreness, Peacock could be an experienced replacement.
Decent track record as reliever and starter
Without options, Peacock might not be wanted to help out this bullpen, but with a reliable track record and a career ERA of 4.01, the right-hander will end up somewhere this season. As a veteran arm, the Astros would be adding a five-pitch hurler.
The right-hander’s exit from Houston didn’t go as planned, but every fan will have their respected opinion on Peacock. As much as some might think he is good depth or others think that he struggled, the Astros would have to go against their recent mindset of not adding outside options.
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Nothing to lose
While we haven’t seen Peacock pitch since September of 2020, there isn’t much evidence showing that the right-hander is back to his 2017-2019 form. For all we know, he could be better or regressed from his shoulder surgery.
This opens the case of there being nothing to lose. The Astros can visit their former employee and see where he stands. If the hurler is still waiting on a possible contract, it would behoove them to offer a minor-league deal. Signing Peacock wouldn’t put the Astros in a pickle, and if he ends up not reaching his ceiling, then end the experiment.
We have seen the Astros sign former major leaguers this season to minor-league deals, and if Peacock excels in Triple-A, then you might have a ‘problem.’ There is a roster spot open with Kent Emanuel having season-ending surgery, but with Josh James anticipated return nearing, it makes sense that the seat is his.
The 40-man roster doesn’t have many options for moving players, but if the Astros want to open up spots, then a DFA or trade would be needed. Optionable pitching is something worth holding onto, but if the goal is another Commissioner’s Trophy, then the best pitchers will be on the roster.