For two clubs out of contention, the two remaining months of the 2014 season will allow them ample time to sample some of their young talent. On Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies and Astros will do just that as they each send a young callup to the mound.
With Cliff Lee on the shelf for the foreseeable future, his replacement in the Phillies' rotation, David Buchanan, will get his next opportunity at the Major League level. The recently recalled 25-year-old enjoyed relative success during his first stint in the big leagues earlier this season, going 5-5 with a 4.40 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.
The right hander gave his best two performances against two playoff contenders. Buchanan threw 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball in a win against the Cardinals on June 19 before leaving for the Minors with a bang on July 10, allowing just a single run on four hits to earn the win against the Brewers.
"He made a good showing with us when he was here with his starts," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He showed his composure out there. He gave us a chance to win when he pitched."
Buchanan made three starts at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and will come into Wednesday's game on the heels of a winning effort in which he went 7 1/3 innings and allowed one run.
"He was going to go and work on really pitching down in the zone with his stuff and focusing on every pitch down," Sandberg said. "He did have some good outings in Triple-A, so I'm anxious to see where he's at, any adjustments that he made."
Peacock, meanwhile, will be called up to take the rotation spot of Jarred Cosart, who was dealt to the Marlins last week.
Peacock began the season in the rotation, but didn't get his first win until his 10th start -- May 18 against the White Sox. Prior to getting sent down following his July 23 start at Oakland, Peacock had struggled with an 8.40 ERA in his previous four starts. Still, the club still sees potential in Peacock, who went 2-3 with a 3.71 ERA in 11 starts from April 20-June 27, to feel comfortable trading Cosart and giving Peacock another shot.
Manager Bo Porter said Peacock went to Triple-A to work on fastball command at the suggestion of pitching coach Brent Strom.
"There were a couple of things Strommy was able to look at the video and point out, and that was part of the reason we felt like we needed him to go to Oklahoma City," Porter said. "When we talk about Peacock, we made the decision to send him to Oklahoma City, it all started with his ability to command the fastball."
Astros: Porter likes Buchanan in long relief
Porter considered right-hander Jake Buchanan for a spot the rotation instead of Peacock, but he thinks the rookie has good value in the long relief role he's taken over.
Buchanan, who made a spot start Thursday when Cosart -- scheduled to start Thursday -- was dealt to the Marlins, is back in the bullpen. He worked a career-high five innings and held the Jays to three runs and five hits in his second big league start. The thing Porter likes is that Buchanan had 11 groundouts and three strikeouts.
"When I looked at him and Peacock and think about the long role, I think Buchanan is perfect for that role because when your long guy comes into a game, you're looking for length," Porter said. "At this point, the starter is out of the game early and the last thing you want is to bring your long guy in and bring in two or three more guys behind him. Two things I like about Buchanan: he's going to throw strikes and he's a groundball pitcher. When he gets in trouble, he's one pitch away from getting a double play."
Phillies: Brown returns after infection
Domonic Brown is still recovering from an infection in his throat, but is feeling much better after missing the past three games and appeared as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's game against the Astros.
"All the stuff in the throat is pretty much gone, little bit of body aching, that's really about it," Brown said.
A season after hitting .272 with 27 homers en route to an All-Star selection, Brown has taken a step back in 2014 with a .230 average and seven homers through 103 games. With two months left in the season, Sandberg was asked whether Brown still has enough time to reestablish himself as the leading candidate to be the everyday left fielder in 2015.
"I would say that [left field] is open right now. So that would be yes," Sandberg said. "I don't think there's a solid concrete guy as far as that goes. That's why there's some rotation out there. Giving everybody opportunities. We've been doing that up to this point anyway. We'll probably continue throughout the rest of the season."
• With 93 saves, Jonathan Papelbon sits one shy of tying Tug McGraw for fifth on the Phillies all-time saves list. Papelbon has a 86.9 save percentage (93-for-107), which is the highest of any closer in Phillies history with a minimum of 100 save opportunities.
• Astros rookie outfielder George Springer, who has been on the disabled list since July 20 with a left quad strain, could return to action as early as Thursday if his rehab continues to progress as planned.
Erik Bacharach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.