Peacock in running for a start next series

Hinch says Houston mulling rotation options vs. Twins

Peacock in running for a start next series

HOUSTON -- Changes could be coming to the Astros' starting rotation.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Friday right-hander Brad Peacock could make another start next week against Twins in Minnesota, a start that could come at the expense of one of the struggling right-handers in the rotation. That's likely either Mike Fiers or Joe Musgrove, who delivered seven shutout innings Friday night in a 2-0 win over the Orioles.

"The next decision that we have is in the Minnesota series on the road, so [Peacock] is still under consideration for a start there, but no determination has been made because I don't know if we need him today or tomorrow," Hinch said.

Hinch said Peacock was available in relief Friday, if needed.

Peacock was effective as a long reliever to start the season before making a spot start Monday in place of Dallas Keuchel, who is on the disabled list with a pinched nerve in his neck. Peacock was limited by a 70-pitch count but threw 4 1/3 innings and allowed one hit and two walks and struck out eight against the Tigers.

"It's always a fine line between what you need in reserve and what you need to start the game," Hinch said. "We're fortunate enough to have a lot of good options in the bullpen, so that sometimes has made it difficult to get even non-leverage relievers in the game -- not this last week it didn't, but in general. Any time you open up one opportunity for someone, you're also changing the mix you've had success with."

Fiers, who allowed three earned runs and a season-high 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings Thursday against Detroit, is 1-2 with a 5.21 ERA, allowing a Major League-high 18 homers in 46 2/3 innings. Hinch said Fiers is still under consideration for a start in Minnesota, but added that he could plug in Peacock and push all of his starters back a day.

Charlie Morton is currently in line to start Monday's opener of a three-game series in Minneapolis.

"We're trying to be smart about rest for our rotation," Hinch said. "I'm even considering giving everyone an extra day and pushing Morton back, or push Fiers or Musgrove to Wednesday if we choose to start Peacock. All of that is on the table, and we'll have a determination at the end of the weekend."

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.