Jake Peavy: Is Kenny Williams Messing Around by Predicting Big Year for Peavy?

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIApril 16, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 13:  Starting pitcher Jake Peavy #44 of the Chicago White Sox delivers the ball against the Detroit Tigers during the opening day game at U.S. Cellular Field on April 13, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jake Peavy has been a cause for concern for Chicago White Sox fans. He hadn’t maintained good health for a few years. Also, he hasn’t been consistently effective for the White Sox. Kenny Williams is one person who isn’t gravely concerned like fans are.

Williams expressed this in an interview on Thursday with MLB.com. He said:

I think a lot of people have a lot more questions than we do regarding our club. We are confident that Jake is going to give us the best year he has had as a White Sox. That assumes health.

Indeed, one would have to assume Peavy would stay healthy to predict a good year for him. Staying healthy is something Peavy has struggled to do while with the White Sox. He has failed to start 20 games while with the White Sox, and last season he was shut down late in the year due to arm problems.

Aside from health questions, one would have to wonder whether Williams is gassing White Sox fans up about Peavy’s 2012 year. He wasn’t effective in previous full seasons with the White Sox. He had a 4.63 ERA in 2010 and a 4.92 ERA in 2011.

His strikeout rates, 7.8 and 7.7 per nine innings, respectively, were significantly lower than when he was with the San Diego Padres.

Williams’ prediction is starting well. Peavy allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings against the Texas Rangers in his first start. In his second start, Peavy allowed two runs in 6.2 innings against the Detroit Tigers.

One must wonder how he’s started this well. He might have realized that he can’t throw as hard or push pitches as hard as he did earlier in his career. He’s let off on velocity a bit this season.

Also, he might be feeling more at ease this season. Peavy often made cocky pronouncements in the offseason about what he’d do this year, but he might be easing into focus now.

The season is a long one. Peavy will have to pace himself. He’ll have to rest well between starts. Also, he’ll have to stay steady, not letting himself push too hard after a poor start.

Williams just might end up being right about this prediction. However, White Sox fans will look upon him skeptically until Peavy proves him correct.