The Chicago White Sox have begun the 2013 season at a level below expectations.
Below expectations is a perfect phrase to describe Gavin Floyd's entire major league career.
Floyd, a pitcher with all the talent in the world, has never been able to mentally handle the major leagues the way his physical abilities should allow him to.
And now, at age 30, his time to put it all together is running out.
Last night, against a reeling Toronto Blue Jays club wrought with injuries and early season disappointment, the White Sox scored two runs in the first inning off former Sox Mark Buehrle.
But, like he has done so many times in his career, Floyd wasted the lead handed to him, giving up two first inning runs himself.
The White Sox went on to lose 4-3, with Floyd only lasting 4.1 innings. Floyd is now 0-3 in his three starts with a 6.32 ERA.
Obviously, it's still early in the season. Established starting pitchers should almost never be dropped after just three starts. However, there are two factors going against Gavin at this point.
One is current White Sox long reliever, Hector Santiago. The 25-year-old southpaw with a beautiful screwball has gotten off to a red-hot start, having yet to allow a run in his eight innings of work.
It's never too early for the club to start thinking about its future, and a player like Santiago represents the Sox present and future.
Along those lines is the second point to be made against Gavin Floyd: his contract.
Both Santiago and Floyd have one year left with the team on their current contracts, but Santiago is much more likely to be extended than Floyd. Unless the miraculous occurs, Floyd will be in another uniform come next season.
Normally, this actually makes a pitcher better. Desiring a free agent period marked with meaty, long-term contract offers, hurlers are dialed in on the mound and end up benefiting their current team even more than their future team.
In the case of Floyd, the opposite has occurred, and it makes sense. Floyd's mentality is not of the Jake Peavy ilk. Pressure and spotlights don't suit him. He's no bulldog.
Supporting evidence would be his only career postseason outing, a three-inning disaster in the 2008 ALDS.
So while Peavy pitched brilliantly heading into free agency last season, Floyd is nothing more than a lame duck.
The 2013 season may be the last hurrah for some of the White Sox great veteran players whose victory lap will hopefully bring the club a postseason berth.
But in Gavin Floyd's case, it's time for the White Sox to move on now rather than later.
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