Astros roster moves: Rhiner Cruz, Brad Peacock sent to Triple-A

Scott Halleran

Though we knew that Jordan Lyles and Dallas Keuchel were headed up, we didn't know who was getting sent down. Now we do.

On Wednesday, we found out that Jordan Lyles would be called up along with left-hander Dallas Keuchel. Lyles would get the start against Detroit on Thursday at Minute Maid Park, but no word on corresponding roster moves were made at the time.

Until today, that is. We learn that recently demoted starting pitcher Brad Peacock was actually demoted to Triple-A and will be joined by right-handed reliever Rhiner Cruz. That gives Houston three long relievers in the bullpen, as Keuchel joins Paul Clemens and Jose Cisnero.

Cruz, 26, was a Rule 5 draft pick by Houston last season. He spend the entire season with the big league club, throwing 55 innings with a 6.05 ERA and 46 strikeouts in his first major league action. Cruz didn't perform much better this year, as Cruz had six strikeouts in 14 innings with a 4.40 ERA. But, Cruz' FIP is about the same as it was last season, meaning he hasn't show much improvement from last season.

Peacock, 25, started five games and appeared in relief in one more for Houston this season. He came over from Oakland in the Jed Lowrie trade and was named the fourth starter out of spring training. Peacock has a sterling strikeout rate, whiffing 7.77 K/9 while walking 5.32 per nine. His ERA ballooned over 9.00 after his last start and his peripherals don't help much.

As bad as Erik Bedard and Phillip Humber are, Peacock has been worse. Plus, he's been completely unable to pitch deeper into games. He's got talent, so maybe the best thing for him is to go to Oklahoma City and join the rotation to get right.

The other interesting development is the three long relievers. Is this setting up Houston to release or demote two other starters in favor of Keuchel, Cisnero or Clemens? Or is this long relief thing getting more burn?

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