Putting the bulldog to sleep

Putting the bulldog to sleep
Peavy straining multiple face muscles // Stacey Wescott, McClatchy-Tribune

“Don’t lie to me
If you’re putting the dog to sleep
That pet you just couldn’t keep
Couldn’t afford”

– The Antlers

Rumor has it–by rumor I mean that only ESPN Chicago is flaunting it at this very moment of writing–that the White Sox are shutting down Jake Peavy for the rest of the season.  The act, is a fairly clear admission that the White Sox are both out of the race, and Peavy is pointlessly treading water in his performance at partial strength.  Since both these things are true, it doesn’t seem like a big problem for the team to admit this.

[Insert standard wailing about how disappointing that trade’s been even though Peavy threw more innings than Clayton Richard this season]

That said, Peavy racking up 111.2 IP in the year coming back from breaking himself in a wholly new and terrifyingly unprecedented way wasn’t exactly one the low-end of projections for him.  His 4.92 ERA is pretty galling and his velocity didn’t wow anyone, but his 7.66 K/9 and 1.93 BB/9 shows he wasn’t slumming it out there either.

Of course, Peavy’s relatively early return, just like his pitching with groin discomfort in June, or his impromptu relief appearance in July, and the inability of the White Sox management to stand in the way of any of it, quite possibly contributed heavily to how difficult it was for him to rack up a high workload.

And given how amenable Peavy had been to the idea of resting in the weeks leading up his horrific injury last season, and it’s harder to view Jake’s ailments as an obstacle he overcame and not the pitfalls of his approach to…well….life, I suppose.

This is in the past, of course, and just like Peavy pitching in 2011, it doesn’t matter anymore.  Peavy showed flashes of very above-average ability throughout the season, and his peripherals suggests that he has the chance to contribute a great deal to the 2012 club if he were to approach something that resembled full strength again.  The White Sox aren’t going to spend another minute jeopardizing that.  Good on them.

It does mean a lot more Philip Humber, Zach Stewart, or even Dylan Axelrod starts for the rest of the season.  Besides seeing if Humber can hold up the promise he showed in the 1st half (and his 6 IP, 7 K, 0 BB, 2 ER performance on Saturday will do just fine), that doesn’t offer too much of a glimpse of the futre.  Axelrod is far from being raved about, and I’m withholding excitement about Stewart as a starter for just a bit longer. Or possibly forever, I haven’t decided.


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