The optimism felt throughout the early half of spring training would suggest May 11 is a disappointing return date for Peavy, but I’m sure if Jake Peavy and the White Sox went back to last July and were offered a 10-month layoff, they would take it in a heartbeat.
Initial timetables predicted Peavy would be out a year, if not more, while recovering from surgery on a detached lattisimus dorsi muscle under his right shoulder. Though there were whispers of April 1, April 15 and May 1, this still isn’t bad. Like general manager Kenny Williams said, it’s better to have Peavy miss a month and be healthy than come back too early and miss extra time.
Now the question becomes: Is Peavy healthy enough to contribute to the success of the team?
We’ll find out over the next three weeks while he settles into the White Sox six-man rotation that will last through May.
Peavy allowed four runs over six innings and 87 pitches against the Angels in his first start of 2011, earning a no-decision when the team rallied to tie the game in the ninth inning. It wasn’t a stellar performance, but I think the only person expecting him to throw a complete game shutout was Peavy himself. He didn’t walk anyone but found himself in a couple of jams he couldn’t get out of. You can’t judge him on his first outing of the year – like I said, we’ll find out in the coming weeks what type of contribution he’ll be able to provide.
The biggest question mark in my mind with the six-man rotation is how Gavin Floyd will react to the extra day of rest. He’s been pitching very well of late and I’d hate to see a ruffle in his routine screw everything up. Maybe pitching coach Don Cooper knows how to handle the situation and maybe it will actually benefit Floyd since he broke down toward the end of last year. Even a small spell for pitchers who aim to throw 200 innings in a season could help.
This will take even more pressure off of John Danks, who has been struggling his last few starts and dropped to 0-6 on the year. He hasn’t been pitching that bad, as the bullpen and offense have cost him several games he should have won, but two of his last three losses lie squarely on his shoulders.
The whirlwind starts Friday with Phil Humber pitching on six days rest at Oakland. Since Humber has been a reliever/fill-in starter in much of his big league tenure, don’t expect it to have a drastic effect on him. And if he allowed seven runs on 10 hits, we probably can’t blame that on the extra day of rest, either. When the more experienced Sox starters take the mound this go-round, we’ll begin to see if there will be any blowback from Ozzie’s decision.