Brad Peacock helps Cleveland Indians starting rotation, but more still needed
On Friday (June 25) the Cleveland Indians inked veteran right-handed pitcher to Brad Peacock to a contract. While Peacock will surely help the Tribe’s starting rotation, the team still needs to do more to address the position in the coming month leading up to the trade deadline.
For the Tribe, they need all the starting pitching help they can get. Since Opening Day, the team has lost all five starting pitchers one way or another. Two were sent down to the minors after rough starts and the best three have all hit the injured list, leaving the team with a variety of minor league pitchers to hold down the fort ahead of the team’s most difficult month.
For Peacock, he hasn’t started a game since the 2019 season and only pitched three relief outings in 2020 for the Houston Astros. The 2020 season was a short one for Peacock due to needing arthroscopic surgery in his throwing shoulder last October. Now, he was apparently cleared to be in full health in April.
At 33-years old, Peacock will have some work to do to get back in the swing of things. Since the beginning of the 2020 season, he’s pitched just 2.1 innings. Those 2.1 were not all that great either. He struggled through, allowing two runs on three hits and hitting another batter. Now, he did strike out three of the seven outs recorded when he was on the mound, but a 7.71 ERA might be a talking point for why he stayed on the market so long into the season.
We should give Peacock a bit more credit. Sure, he struggled in 2020 but his career numbers look a bit better. He’s started 83 of 181 appearances in the bigs, maintaining a 4.01 ERA, striking out 587 batters over 554.2 innings. As for his record, he’s just north of .500 at 34-30 across nine major league seasons.
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Despite his recent injuries and mix between starting and relieving, Peacock was the choice of the Cleveland Indians brass to be the added arm in the time of need. He was picked over players like Cole Hamels, Rick Porcello and Homer Bailey.
Now, Peacock is younger than Hamels and Bailey while surprisingly having better career stats than Porcello. However, if you want to go by recent stats and hope of a strong outing, Peacock is probably the last name that will come to mind. For a team that is dealing with injuries across the starting rotation, it’s a bit odd to sign a pitcher who’s last outing ended in a season-ending injury.
Peacock will need time to get up to speed in the minors, so we’re probably a couple weeks from him arriving in Cleveland. He hasn’t pitched competitively since the injury, so all the time that most pitchers get in Spring Training and the first half of the season, he’ll have to make up for. On top of that, he’s only one pitcher.
Even when the trio of starters are back and healthy, the Cleveland Indians will still need two starters to finish out the rotation. Peacock could hold down one of the spots, but that would still leave another up for grabs. A prospect could claim the spot, but none have separated themselves from the masses thus far.
The next question will be if the team is comfortable with Peacock pitching in the playoffs. The team is on track to play in the postseason, but you need four solid starting pitchers to compete in October. Unless Peacock shocks the team, he won’t be that.
What this move seems like is an insurance addition. A short-term adjustment to buy a little bit of time for the front office to find a better solution. There’s still a month before the trade deadline, so there’s plenty of time to make a deal.
While the avenue of free agency remains open, signing Peacock makes it seem as though the team doesn’t see a better option on the market. If that’s the case, then they would have signed that player now. Seeing that Peacock was the one signed, free agency is probably off the table.
What it comes down to is the Cleveland Indians need more starting pitching, with or without Peacock. He might be a nice option to have down the road should more injuries occur, but he far from fixes the problem.