Peacock to start in place of righty, who is dealing with lacerated right fingernail
By Alex Simon
OAKLAND -- The Astros will skip right-hander Collin McHugh in his next scheduled start Thursday vs. the Angels, with Brad Peacock taking his place in Anaheim.
McHugh left Friday's start after three innings with a right middle fingernail issue, as the fingernail cut the skin underneath it. He's dealt with a similar issue once before, something that gives manager A.J. Hinch confidence that it won't be a long-term issue, but McHugh will likely not pitch again until Houston faces the White Sox, Sept. 19-21.
"Part of that is due to giving him as much time to heal as he can," Hinch said. "I don't think he needs that much time, but I also want to get [Dallas] Keuchel and [Justin] Verlander on regular [rest] after this time. There aren't a lot of turns after that Thursday start."
With an off-day coming Monday before the Astros face the Angels for three games Tuesday-Thursday, Hinch had a choice to pitch either Peacock or Charlie Morton on normal rest after each started in Saturday's doubleheader, but he went with Peacock and will have Morton pitch Friday in Houston against the Mariners.
"Peacock matches well with the right-handed-ness of Anaheim," Hinch said. "And between the two yesterday, with the way the day went, Charlie extended himself pretty hard in five innings. Peacock came out relatively easier, pitch-count wise, in the sixth. [But] a lot of it had to do with the right-handed-ness of Anaheim."
• Hinch said catcher Juan Centeno is feeling better, but has a mild concussion and will miss a few days. Centeno left the first game of Saturday's doubleheader after being hit in the mask by Jed Lowrie's backswing.
"We've gone through this a few times, especially behind the plate," Hinch said. "We're just not going to know until we get to Anaheim exactly how he's doing. Better than expected, but also we have to go through the protocol."
• Hinch said Carlos Correa's timing and mechanics have been "a little bit disconnected" since he returned from the disabled list. After missing a month and a half with a torn ligament in his left thumb, Correa has gone 4-for-30 in seven games, but Hinch isn't concerned about the shortstop's rough stretch carrying on for an extended period.
"I think we underestimate what it takes to get back at this level and do well," Hinch said. "There are guys who can do it, jump right back into the big leagues and do something well, but there are guys that it takes 10, 20 at-bats to get right again.
"He's very much rhythm, timing, pitch recognition -- those are all key for him, as they are for most players. When his timing is off or his rhythm is off, I see him a little bit more rushed at the plate and a little more jumpy than usual."
Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.