Club expects change in talented right-hander's role to be temporary
NEW YORK -- Astros right-hander Brad Peacock, who has struggled as a starter this year, was told on Monday by manager Bo Porter he was being moved to the bullpen. The team's starter for Thursday's game against Detroit will be announced later. Peacock, acquired from the A's on Feb. 4 in the Jed Lowrie trade, went 1-3 with an 8.44 ERA in 21 1/3 innings spanning five starts.
"I'm just happy to still be here," Peacock said. "I know I was struggling. I think the bullpen is going to be a good move for me."
"It more so has to do with us as an organization trying to put him in position where he could have some success," Porter said. "We believe that he's still a starting pitcher, and you guys have witnessed it. We've had starters go down in the bullpen and pitch in long relief and they've had great success, and we're hoping the same thing can happen with Brad Peacock."
Porter wouldn't say if the Astros' starter for Thursday would come from among their long relievers -- Travis Blackley, Paul Clemens and Jose Ciserno -- or from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
"[General manager] Jeff [Luhnow] and I had a good conversation yesterday and we continued that conversation today, and we'll have an announcement later this week of who that starter will be," Porter said. Porter said that Peacock just gets need to get some confidence.
"It's amazing what success can do for you," Porter said. "The whole plan is to try to get him down there, find some favorable matchups and situations to put him in, rather than starting the game. Hopefully, the success he's able to have in the bullpen builds him back up to where we get him back into the rotation. That is definitely the plan."
"My goal is to get back [in the rotation] because that's what I want to do, is start," Peacock said, "so I just have to keep working hard and talking to guys and figure it out."
Peacock had trouble throwing strikes, which got him in deep counts and ran up his pitch count. The Astros want the righty to attack hitters more, and pitching out of the bullpen will give him a chance to do that. Peacock worked almost exclusively as a starter throughout his career in the Minor Leagues.
"That's what I'm most excited about -- going one or two innings and letting it fly," Peacock said.
"When you're a starter and you think about pacing yourself throughout a game, where hitters are probably going to see you three times and you're talking six, seven innings," Porter said, "the difference coming out of the bullpen is, basically, you come in and say to yourself, 'This guy's going to see me one time.' The mentality of attack is a little bit different coming out of the bullpen.
"When you look at Peacock in the games in which he started, there were a lot of deep counts. From a mental standpoint, one of the things I'm hoping comes out of the bullpen [move] is more of an attack mode, and once he's in the rotation it carries over."