5:40 pm: The Red Sox announced they’ve selected Peacock and left-hander Stephen Gonsalves. Righty Raynel Espinal has been removed from the 40-man roster and returned to Worcester. Gonsalves, a one time well-regarded prospect during his days in the Twins’ system, signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox over the winter. Over 67 innings with Worcester, he’s worked to a 4.97 ERA with a huge 30.2% strikeout rate but a very high 16.4% walk percentage. Josh Taylor has also landed on the COVID IL as part of contact tracing efforts.
3:30 pm: Boston will lose a fifth player to the COVID IL, as reliever Hirokazu Sawamura has tested positive, Chris Cotillo of MassLive was among those to pass along. Sawamura has a 3.06 ERA over 46 2/3 innings this season, his first in MLB after nine seasons in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.
3:03 pm: The Red Sox are planning to select righty Brad Peacock to the big league roster, the team informed reporters (including Sean McAdam of Boston Sports Journal). He’ll get the start for this evening’s game against the Rays. The Red Sox have a couple vacancies on the 40-man roster because of their recent placement of four players on the COVID-19 injured list, so they’ll only need to make a corresponding active roster move.
Boston just added Peacock from the Indians in exchange for cash considerations yesterday. He’ll almost immediately get brought up to the majors for the first time this season, the ninth consecutive (and tenth overall) in which he’s made it to the big league level. Peacock had spent the past eight years with the Astros, bouncing between the rotation and long relief throughout his time in Houston.
Peacock had a few rocky seasons to begin his career but he found quite a bit of success beginning in 2017, when he reeled off 132 innings with an even 3.00 ERA. He hasn’t repeated quite that level of production, but he remained a valuable member of the pitching staff over the next couple seasons. Between 2017-19, Peacock worked to a 3.46 ERA across 288 2/3 frames, striking out a fantastic 29.4% of batters faced against an average 9% walk rate.
The 2019 campaign was the last in which Peacock has picked up extended big league innings. He was limited to three relief appearances by a shoulder injury last year and ultimately underwent arthroscopic surgery last October. That kept him out of action until late June, when he hooked on with Cleveland on a minor league deal.
He has since made eleven appearances (ten starts) with their top affiliate in Columbus, where he’s worked to a 7.68 ERA over 34 innings. That’s obviously an unsightly run prevention number, but Peacock’s peripherals are quite a bit better. The 33-year-old has essentially league average marks in strikeout rate (23.8%) and walk percentage (8.8%). His 34.3% ground-ball rate is rather low — contributing to some home run troubles — but he’s also been plagued by an abnormally high .340 opponents’ batting average on balls in play and should strand runners at a better clip than his current 56.5% mark moving forward.