Some things to talk about while I play Sweet Caroline on a loop until tonight's game...
1) Peacock's gotta fly
Didn't get a chance to comment on this before now, but how about Brad Peacock? Though he didn't the victory, Sunday's start against the Twins showed exactly what the Astros though they were getting in that trade for Oakland. Peacock was in control, missing bats and keeping Minnesota off-balance. He also managed to pitch deep into the game, which he didn't do in his first stint with the team, even when he was striking guys out.
Pair that with a good comment on my Robbie Grossman post earlier today about how the minor league coaching staffs seem to be doing a bang-up job with getting these guys ready to go for their second time up and we've got something. Just read this quote from Peacock after his start Sunday:
"Just getting the confidence back," said Peacock, who was 6-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 13 starts for the RedHawks. "I worked really hard (at Oklahoma City) with the pitching coach Steve Webber, and I'm glad to see it paying off.
"I just got in a rhythm. Jason Castro called an outstanding game for me (Sunday), and I don't think I shook him off one time. I have to thank him pretty much for the good start."
Peacock marks the third Astro who went down with a list of things to work on and who emerged from that time more effectively. Three makes it a trend. This is a very good thing and maybe consolation for not seeing George Springer up here right now. If the OKC coaching staff can work their magic on Springer now, imagine what he'll do when he's finally promoted.
Sorry, I just passed out for a second. Anyways, this is definitely a story worth following for the rest of the year.
2) Thinking more about Sergio Escalona
In the midst of this Biogenesis mess, there were two stories about former Astros reliever Sergio Escalona worth noting. The first circulated via Twitter and Facebook from Kevin Goldstein. Astros County had the recap here, but the gist of it was that Escalona wanted to break the barriers around spring training lunch and offered a kind gesture to Goldstein.
The second comes from this story on Carlos Corporan. If you've followed Corporan's story for the past few years, you'll remember that he tragically lost his baby son in 2011 and it devastated him. Throughout his son's illness and thereafter, Corporan said that Escalona was a huge help to his family.
"He's like my brother," Corporan said of Escalona. "He's part of my family. I'll always, always, always support him," Corporan said of Escalona. "He was with me in the worst moments of my life, and I'll be with him. We'll share good times and bad times, and I know we'll be together soon.
"This is a difficult situation for him like it is for me, but life continues and we have to learn. I'm texting with him but giving him his space. He's somebody who believes in God. He knows everything will be fine. He knows the abilities he has. We just have to wait to see what happens."
Whatever his reasons, I'm not in the mood to judge Esalona for his use of PEDs. As I said yesterday, these kinds of stories just bum me out more than anything.
3) Ranking Frank Wren's trades
C'mon Talking Chop. Way to rip the Band-aid off an old wound. Just when we thought it was all better and we had forgotten the terrible, awful way that Michael Bourn trade went down, you dredge it right back up.
So, apparently, SB Nation's Braves blog decided to rank GM Frank Wren's top five trades. Do you know what was No. 1 with a bullet? Yup.
I'm still not entirely sure how Wren pulled this off. While the whole league was battling to land Hunter Pence, Wren swooped in just a few hours before the 2011 trade deadline and acquired one of the top center fielders in baseball for essentially nothing. Bourn hit .275/.341/.381 in his 18 months with the Braves, serving as the best leadoff man the franchise has had in years while being worth 7.2 wins.
What made this deal so one-sided was what Wren sent to Houston, especially when names like Julio Teheran, Mike Minor and Christian Bethancourt continued to be speculated about by national writers as trade candidates.
Schafer was awful and was quickly let go of by the organization. Abreu and Clemens and have not pitched well, and they're likely bullpen pieces (at best) moving forward. Oberholtzer has tossed two shutouts in his first two career starts. This being said, he's the lone piece of this deal that may work out for Houston, and he's likely a No. 4 or No. 5 starter moving forward.
For a year and a half of Bourn's prime, this trade was highway robbery for Wren and the Braves.
Hold on. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Let's hope Obie-win can save us. He's our only hope.