Jake Peavy has had a rough ride since being traded to the Chicago White Sox by the San Diego Padres, and things aren’t exactly looking up.
This week the right-hander – who has always been known as a team player – actually offered to pitch out of the bullpen when he returns from the disabled list. Peavy is currently on the DL waiting to start a minor league rehab stint later this week.
Peavy’s offer comes partly because the White Sox have had such horrible bullpen numbers so far this year. That said, you also have to believe that the former Cy Young Award winner wants to contribute in any way possible and maybe a (possible temporary) move to relief would help him stay healthy longer and possibly get him back into a rhythm.
So far this year, the White Sox rank 26th (out of 30 teams) in bullpen ERA at 4.46. Opponents are hitting .254 off Chicago’s relievers, and as a team the Sox have blown nine saves in 26 opportunities. It has been a mess as the team’s 1.47 WHIP (26th in the majors) indicates.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was not necessarily buying a move to the bullpen by Peavy. He told the Chicago Tribune, “We appreciate (Peavy’s offer), but I think it’s too early to concern our thinking about bullpen stuff.”
Peavy was injured when traded to the South Siders in 2009, but when he finally got into the rotation he went 3-0 and looked like a big piece of the team’s future. Then last season he opened the year with a 2-5 record and a 6.05 ERA, before winning five straight starts with a 1.99 ERA.
Then, on July 6 Peavy left in the second inning of his start against the Los Angeles Angels with an injured right arm. Turns out he had detached the latissimus dorsi muscle in his back, had to have surgery and missed the rest of the season. He didn’t return until May 11 of this year, and after coming back he went 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA. Then, he strained his groin against Boston on May 30, before making things worse against Detroit on June 5 and landing on the disabled list.
He’s currently scheduled to start his rehab stint for Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday.
We seriously doubt the White Sox want to move a guy who is owed a minimum of $37 million (a maximum of $55 million due to a $22 million club option/$4 million buyout in 2013) over the next three years to the bullpen. But if it’s the only way to keep Peavy healthy, the Sox might not have any other choice.
We bet Peavy starts when he comes back, and if he manages to stay healthy, all of this bullpen talk will disappear.