It’s Peacock week here at Razzball, and I for one, have been trying my damnedest to use some of the lessons taught to me by my mentor, the sometimes debonair, but mostly creepy, world-renowned pickup artist Mystery. You might remember this sexual predator from MTV at some point in the last 10 years. MTV, ruining everything since 1981! You might not recall this, particularly if you’ve never been under the spell of a man dressed as the lead singer of Jamiroquai, but Mystery has long preached the word of “Peacocking”. I can’t be sure, but I’m almost certain that this is the act of pretending you’re Brad Peacock to pickup women. I mean how could this not work have you seen “The P-Cock” in all his glory? Gorgeous just like a horse is, to say the least. The 29 year old Peacock has spent parts of 5 seasons in the majors, mostly as a shuttle arm, between AAA and the majors. In 2017 however, the righty has been a bit of a revelation for the Astros, first in the bullpen, and now in the rotation. Grey wrote him up on Friday, and he’s been one of the more interesting streams over the last few weeks. If only due to that heavenly 15 K/9 over his first three starts. So let’s dig into Peacock and see what he’s doing on the mound, when not going into liquor store rages.
Scouting Report: Peacock’s 11 year professional career has been spent mostly in the minors, but he’s seen a solid amount of time in the majors with Houston over the past 4 seasons. After missing nearly all of 2015 as he recovered from labrum surgery, Peacock returned last year and was just mediocre in AAA Fresno, and Houston across a combined 148.2 innings. 2017 Peacock emerged a new bird, first in the bullpen using his slider and fastball to generate a high number of swings and misses. Which in turn fueled his spike in strikeouts. So how is Peacock doing this? Has anything really changed? Certainly the results have, as entering the start he had one of the lowest LD% against in the entire league, and an insane 33.6% strikeout rate. Looking at his usage not a ton has changed this year from that perspective, he’s throwing his curveball a little less, his slider a little more, but no drastic change in repertoire, or a new pitch, is behind this. There has been an uptick in fastball velocity, but I’m not sure if that jump is the product of the new technique for measuring pitch speed that MLB has employed.
As for Peacock’s arsenal, he throws a couple variations of his fastball, one a four-seamer that sits 92-94, with slight armside run, and a sinker that sits 89-92 with slight armside run. When his control is off, it’s not the easiest pair of fastball’s to differentiate. His slider is his best secondary, getting sweeping break and sitting in the low 80’s. The pitch generates a fair number of whiffs, somewhere in the vicinity of a 22% rate. He also mixes in a curve with a sharp downward break, and some armside run. His hook generates a strong amount of groundballs, somewhere in the range of 65%+. He also mixes in a change, though rarely, and it has the lowest whiff rate, and highest batting average of any of his offerings.
Starts Maybin off with a slider in the dirt, ball 1, fastball up and in at 93 fouled back, strike 1, 93 MPH low and outside, ball 2, fastball at 93 on the heart of the plate, and Maybin takes for strike 2, a slider catches the outside part of the plate and Maybin hits it the other way to Marwin Gonzalez at first, but it’s misplayed and Maybin’s aboard.
First pitch to Pujols is a curveball on the outside of the plate, ball 1, meanwhile Maybin takes second base without a throw, another curveball on the outside of the plate, ball 2, a high slider at 79 misses, ball 3, a fastball at 93 off the plate ball 4, four pitch walk to Albert.
91 MPH fastball low and outside, ball 1, slider at 80 MPH off the plate for ball 2, another fast off the plate at 91, and Maybin takes third, this time McCann throws over to third but it’s too late, another 93 MPH fastball off the plate and it’s Peacock’s second consecutive four pitch walk.
94 MPH fastball inside to Valbuena, ball 1, 93 MPH middle in is taken for strike 1, another fastball on the outside part of the plate is taken strike 2, another 93 MPH fastball is fouled back, 81 MPH slider fouled down the first base line, 94 MPH fastball on the outside fouled off, 94 MPH low and outside ball 2, 74 MPH curveball low, and Valbuena hold up to even the count, 94 MPH fastball in the dirt for ball 4, and Peacock walks in a run.
92 MPH fastball down Main St., Strike 1, 84 MPH slider over the plate is grounded to third, Bregman goes home for the force at the plate, 2 outs.
Slider on the outer side of the plate to the gloves side, strike 1, another slider on the inside, swung on and missed, strike 2, a fastball on the outside at 92, 82 MPH slider over the middle of the plate is popped up.
Peacock’s fastball control was all over the place in that inning, throwing 10 consecutive balls at one point. He managed to settle down and only allow one run despite a base loaded no out situation.
Eric Young Jr.
Fastball at 92 in the dirt, ball 1, curveball is a mile out of the zone, ball 2, 92 MPH on the outside part of the plate, strike 1, a fastball at 93 middle in is hit to right for a base hit.
92 MPH low and inside, ball 1, 93 MPH high and inside swing and miss, strike 1, 87 MPH pitch out to keep Young honest, ball 2, fastball at 92 is fouled back, strike 2, slider in the dirt at 77, ball 3, 92 MPH on the outside fouled off, full count, fastball low, and another walk four walks to three outs so far.
An 80 MPH slider is swung on and missed, strike 1, 91 MPH fastball taken on the inside for ball 1, Peacock picks off Eric Young Jr. At second, good break for Peacock, fastball at 93 is crushed over Reddick’s head in right, ground rule double. Runners on second and third.
Slider low at 81 for ball 1, 82 MPH slider in the inside, ball 2, 92 MPH fastball on the inside is struck down the first base line for a two run RBI single.
82 MPH slider is hit for groundball to Correa and it’s an inning ending double play.
Another garbage inning from Peacock, he got some lucky breaks in picking off Eric Young, and Pujols swinging on the first pitch. A two run inning is always bad but it could’ve been worse.
Slider at 80 MPH brushes back Escobar, ball 1, 80 MPH slider in the inside is hit down the third baseline for a double.
Slider on the outside is fouled back, strike 1, 91 MPH slider on the outside, strike 2, 94 MPH on inside and low, ball 1, 76 MPH curveball fouled back, 80 MPH slider over the plate is hit for an RBI single to center.
92 MPH fastball taken for ball 1, 91 MPH fastball in the outside fouled off, strike 1, 91 MPH fastball too low, ball 2, fastball hit in the air to left for the first out.
Fastball low and outside, ball 1, 83 MPH slider on the outside, ball 2, slider at 79 taken for strike 2, another slider on the inside is struck foul, 92 MPH fastball is grounded for a base hit between third and short.
Eric Young Jr.
Pitch outside for another first pitch ball, Slider on the outside part of the plate strike 1, fastball struck foul, a curveball is struck into the ground at 77, 1-2 count, 82 MPH slider is hit for a lazy flyball to left.
Fastball at 93 MPH taken for ball 1, 93 MPH fastball over the heart of the plate swung on and missed for strike 1, another fastball this time at 92 gets another swing and miss, strike 2, another fastball is fouled back, 1-2 count, 77 MPH slider in the dirt for ball 2, another fastball at 94 and another foul ball, 93 MPH fastball in the dirt, ball 3, 93 MPH fastball on the inside is a called theirs strike.
3 IP, 7 Hits, 4 Walks, 4 Earned Runs, 1 K, 76 Pitches, 42 Strikes. Game Score 25
Summary: An truly awful outing for Peacock, who actually threw nearly as many balls (34) as he did strikes (42). This was the theme of this start for Peacock, as he consistently struggled to find the zone with his fastball and slider. You can see the stuff is there between those two pitches, and even the curveball, when he used it. Too bad he was always a few inches away from hitting his spots, and the Angels took pitch after pitch, and walk after walk as Peacock punched himself out. I don’t want to draw too many conclusions about B-Rad from this start, but he certainly didn’t look like a breakout guy today.
Updated Top 100 SP
(rankings for ROS based on 12-team Roto)
Disabled List (Ranking When Active): Madison Bumgarner, SF (3) , Noah Syndergaard, NYM (8), Dallas Keuchel, HOU (13), Danny Duffy (19), KC, Jon Gray, COL (26), Kyle Hendricks, CHC (33), Eduardo Rodriguez, BOS (31), Aaron Sanchez, TOR (34), Charlie Morton, HOU (46), Carlos Rodon, CHW (49), Andrew Triggs, OAK (61), Felix Hernandez, SEA (62), Trevor Cahill, SD (66), Matt Andriese, TB (68),Vincent Velasquez, PHI (73), Kendall Graveman, OAK (76), Tyson Ross (90)
Dropped off: Kenta Maeda, LAD, Erasmo Ramirez, TB, Danny Salazar, CLE, Julio Urias, LAD, Patrick Corbin, ARI, Chad Kuhl, PIT, Amir Garrett, CIN, Matt Garza, MIL, Tyler Anderson, COL, Jesse Chavez, LAA, Jeremy Hellickson, PHI, Ricky Nolasco, LAA, J.C. Ramirez, LAA
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- And then there’s Masahiro Tanaka. I’ve dropped the struggling Yankees starter down to 63, and maybe it should be even lower, but I’m just not ready to write him off as a 6 ERA starter. He’s unstartable at the moment.
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