Houston Astros Rumors: Why the team might fill out the rotation internally

Houston Astros Manager A.J. Hinch (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Houston Astros Manager A.J. Hinch (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Houston Astros Ps
McHugh and Peacock of the Houston Astros (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock

The good news is that the Houston Astros aren’t hopeless behind Verlander and Cole. Great rotations don’t need to consist of aces from top to bottom in a rotation. Last year’s rotation was sort of an anomaly in regards to that as Verlander and Keuchel both won Cy Youngs, Cole has had multiple top-five finishes, Morton and McCullers’ stuff is ace-worthy when their accuracy is on.

The Astros have other pitchers on their roster that are more than capable of filling out a rotation as they have done, successfully, before. There are two guys that immediately come to mind that should be able to enter the season in the rotation and give solid contributions all season long.

Collin McHugh is the first guy that jumps to mind. The Astros pulled off a coup of wizardry when they scooped up McHugh off of the waiver wire. He immediately jumped into the Astros rotation and was an incredibly solid third option in that rotation. 2017 wasn’t friendly to McHugh as he spent the vast majority of the season hurt and lost his rotation spot.

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McHugh spent the 2018 season coming out of the bullpen and pitched phenomenally well. He was nearly unhittable and quickly became the organization’s most trusted reliever. He had a sub-2.00 ERA, a sub-1.00 WHIP, and nearly 12 strikeouts per nine innings. Regardless of what the team does this offseason, McHugh should end up in the rotation, he won’t repeat those numbers as a starter but perhaps his time as a reliever flipped a switch and he’ll be even more dominant as a starter.

The next guy that comes to mind is Brad Peacock. Without his contributions in 2017, I’m not sure the rotation holds together enough to power the way to the World Series. Sure, the team got Verlander in August but prior to that, the rotation would have been a mess without Peacock. Peacock had some highs and lows in 2018 but he could easily return to the rotation and be a solid contributor in 2019.

The problem with these two guys is if they both make the rotation, the Houston Astros just moved the holes from the rotation to the bullpen, something they’ll have to figure out quickly, especially with Joe Smith‘s torn Achilles that will have him out until probably August, if not longer.