Josh James and Brad Peacock will head to the bullpen
So, if Valdez is headed to the rotation, that means the Houston Astros will have a rotation consisting of Verlander, Cole, McHugh, Miley, and Valdez. That’s a pretty solid rotation but it also means Peacock will once again head to a multi-inning leverage role out of the bullpen.
One of the reasons I believe Valdez will get the final spot in the rotation is that Peacock is the better, more experienced man out of the bullpen. Peacock’s stuff will also play better out of the bullpen than Valdez’s stuff would.
Valdez has a fastball he relies on that isn’t overly powerful and it rests right at an average of 92 mph. He follows that with a curveball that has a spin rate in the 97th percentile and a changeup. Valdez’s approach is similar to Keuchel’s in that induces groundballs and doesn’t strikeout a ton of guys.
Peacock, on the other hand, has a more dominant pitching repertoire that consists of a good fastball that climbs into the mid-90s, a sweeping slider, and a good curveball and changeup. His method is much more powerful and results in a terrific amount of strikeouts, over 13 per nine innings last year.
Peacock is experienced out of the pen and has shown the ability to be a dominant reliever. James will likely also come out of the bullpen whenever he is healthy so the team doesn’t have to take a long time to get him stretched out. James, like Peacock, has a repertoire that is dominant and powerful and produces a lot of strikeouts so, he’ll play well in the bullpen as well.