On Tuesday, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reported that Houston Astros starting pitcher Brad Peacock has undergone surgery to repair a torn labrum in and remove bone spurs to his hip. He is expected to miss at least the start of Spring Training.
It is unknown how long the hip has been bothering Peacock, or if it affected his performance in 2014. The 26-year-old right-hander made twenty-four starts for the Astros and four relief appearances, tallying 131-2/3 innings during his first full season in the Major Leagues. He posted a 4.72 ERA (4.56 xFIP) with a 20% strikeout rate that was 2nd-best in the rotation behind Collin McHugh, and a 11.5% walk rate.
The former Top-50 prospect was in consideration for the 5th rotation spot in 2015. He seemed primed to take the next developmental step in his short career after posting a 2.33 ERA in his final four starts. But now, Peacock will have to fight his way back into the rotation. The other candidates, including Nick Tropeano, Brett Oberholtzer, Mike Foltynewicz, Jake Buchanan, Asher Wojciechowski, Alex White, and any free-agents will all have chances to make impressions during spring training and win the job away from the incumbent while Peacock is rehabbing.
GM Jeff Lunow characterizes the surgery as "routine," with an implied expectation of no repercussions to Peacock's performance, but the deep competition for the 5th-starter role, combined with this injury, make Peacock's road to a strong MLB career hazier during these early years than it would otherwise have been. Still, Peacock was Baseball America's #36 prospect in 2012 for a reason, still has the stuff to succeed as a starting pitcher, and figures to get every reasonable opportunity to continue improving at the Major League level.