Having a surplus of something is not a bad thing. The Houston Astros find themselves with a surplus of starting pitchers. One way to inspire people to do better and to maximize their talents is to provide competition, and the Astros are doing just that. Their rotation currently stands at six men, with at least two potential starters serving as long relievers.
The only two names that are safe in that rotation are also the two youngest guys, left-handed Brett Oberholtzer and right-handed Jarred Cosart. The other seven or so competing to fill up those other spots are veteran Erik Bedard, who’s likely to be moved, Dallas Keuchel, who has put up a fairly consistent year, Brad Peacock, who has strung together three straight quality starts, Jordan Lyles, who put up his first good start in his last ten before being moved to the bullpen, Lucas Harrell, whose last start was abysmal, David Martinez, the most recent call-up and Philip Humber, who’s only added to this list because he is technically a starting pitcher.
That’s a big list, with a lot of possibilities. Each one, with the exception of Martinez, has at some time or another been in the Astros’ rotation this year, with incredibly mixed success.
Clearly, their is nothing set in stone with this rotation, with it currently standing at six men. Harrell and Humber are on borrowed time, and should, in all likelihood, not see another start. Lyles is walking a thin line, having put up a string of really bad starts before his most recent start.
Peacock is assured a spot as long as he maintains his current pace, but he has to be aware that the rotation is a carousel and any bad start could be his last.
The competition will keep all of the listed names on top of their game, knowing that there are plenty of athletes just waiting to be given the chance to replace them.