Chicago White Sox fans, you may breathe a sigh of relief.
That's right, your ace Jake Peavy has returned from the DL.
For many White Sox fans, Peavy's return symbolizes the fact that their pitching rotation is stronger again. For others, Peavy's return symbolizes skepticism and uneasiness, and there's no doubting that.
Peavy, a three-time All-Star, the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner (with the San Diego Padres) and pitching Triple Crown winner the same year, has been on the DL since he was taken out of a game last year on July 6th.
After pitching for 1.2 innings in which he gave up three runs on four hits, he felt something go wrong in his pitching shoulder and was taken out of the game.
But things only got worse from there.
After being taken out, it was revealed later that night that the tendons attaching his latissimus dorsi muscle (located in the middle of the back; in his case, the right side extending to his corresponding armpit) had detached the muscle from his bones, which placed him on the DL and required season-ending surgery.
Even worse was that Peavy wouldn't be ready until the beginning of next season.
At the time his season ended, Peavy was 7-6 with a 4.63 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 107 innings pitched for the year. He also had a WHIP of 1.23.
While his stats weren't terrible, Peavy did have to sit the remainder of the year. Although the White Sox came from behind in the division to lead the Twins by a half a game at the All-Star break, they eventually went downhill and missed the playoffs.
Then, as the 2010 offseason passed, spring training came around, but Peavy still wasn't ready to come back just yet. However, as the season started, Peavy made a few rehab starts, but on April 20, he felt something again. Luckily, it wasn't anything serious, but anything related to injury recovery can be huge.
Now, Peavy will take the mound for the first time in 10 months and make his first start of the 2011 MLB season.
The nice thing about this is that it gives White Sox fans something to look forward to. Although they're beginning to rebound—they're on a three-game winning streak at the moment—the White Sox are currently in second to last in the AL Central with a 14-22 record, amounting to a .389 winning percentage. In simplicity, that's terrible.
Currently, the ChiSox's pitching staff isn't horrific. The team has a combined ERA of 4.08, 258 strikeouts, and 105 walks, which are 19th, 10th and tied for ninth in the league, respectively. And according to the team's website, Peavy will not replace anyone in the team's rotation; rather, they will go with a six-man rotation.
Their offense, however, is abominable. As a whole, the team is batting .245, tied for 19th in the majors and they have a .689 OPS, which is 20th in baseball.
Will Jake Peavy have a bounce-back year despite his injury woes?
Surprisingly though, they do have 36 home runs, tied for sixth best in the league, despite their .377 slugging percentage and only 206 strikeouts, tied for third best in the league.
Hopefully, in this time of rebounding, Jake Peavy will be able to continue the trend. In making his debut tomorrow against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Peavy will face right-hander Tyler Chatwood, who is 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA.
White Sox fans will be sure to tune into tomorrow night's game, regardless of whether they are a fan of Peavy or not. It is the team's most anticipated game of the season to date. With the Angels having a 20-16 record, good for first place in the AL West, anything can happen.
Here's hoping he gets his first W of the season tomorrow night at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
Jake Peavy, good luck.