Peter Solomon Finds Another Gear
The Astros drafted righthander Peter Solomon in the fourth round in 2017 despite an average career at Notre Dame.
Solomon shuffled between the Fighting Irish’s rotation and bullpen but never quite found consistency. A spectacular 2016 summer in the Cape Cod League impressed scouts and sold Houston on the selection.
Solomon has logged just 109 professional innings. Since 2019 he has thrown just 7.2 frames, all at high Class A Fayetteville. The 24-year-old had Tommy John surgery last June, giving him one lost season before another appeared for all minor leaguers in 2020.
An invitation to instructional league allowed Solomon a shot to finally face hitters after an almost two-year layoff. The Astros opened their camp to rival scouts, who came away impressed with what Solomon delivered, and it forced Houston to consider him for its 40-man roster.
“He was cruising 93-95 (mph) with his fastball, and breaking stuff kind of came and went, but that’s to be expected given the layoff and ramp-up and facing hitters for the first time,” Astros assistant general manager Pete Putila said. “It was an easy fastball velocity, and I think he had another gear as well.”
Solomon has a four-pitch mix centering on his low-to-mid 90s four-seam fastball. His slider is “probably his best” secondary pitch, according to Putila—a breaking ball with firm velocity, sweep and downward action. Solomon is improving his curveball and already has good feel for his changeup.
Command of all four pitches is key, especially to become the starting pitcher Houston believes the 6-foot-4, 201-pound righty can be.
Ten Astros pitchers made their major league debuts in 2020, offering both an incredible test and testament to the team’s pitching development. Pitchers who were perhaps one or two years away from major league readiness were thrust into action. Some who came through the pipeline as starters settled seamlessly into bullpen roles.
— Replenishing rotation depth in the short term is of foremost importance to the Astros. Look no further than the five newest 40-man roster players. The team protected four righthanded pitchers: Tyler Ivey, Jairo Solis, Soloman and Forrest Whitley.
— Houston also added shortstop Freudis Nova.