Jake Peavy: Chicago White Sox Pitcher Should Replace Sergio Santos as Closer

Daniel MorrillCorrespondent IJune 15, 2011

Jake Peavy is 2-1 this season with a 4.66 ERA and 20 K in 29.0 IP.
Jake Peavy is 2-1 this season with a 4.66 ERA and 20 K in 29.0 IP.Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Its time for Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy is set to come off the disabled list sometime next week.  The oft-injured right-hander could use a title change.

Instead of starting games, he should be closing them.

It’s been done before, most notably when former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz was converted to the team’s closer after recovering from Tommy John surgery.  The former Cy Young award-winning starting pitcher led the league with 55 saves just a year later.

The injury big just keeps on biting Jake Peavy, and it isn’t going to stop until the White Sox make a change. 

Peavy’s ability to locate pitches makes him an intriguing closer option, especially with the recent struggles of rookie closer Sergio Santos.  Peavy is also notorious for taking a very short amount of time to get ready to pitch, also suiting him well for the bullpen.

Chicago has climbed back into contention without Peavy starting games for them.  The White Sox already have a five-man rotation set, and are planning on moving back to a six-man rotation when Peavy returns.

Becoming a closer would mean less pitches per outing and less innings overall.  It would make sense to see if Peavy’s could solidify the ninth inning, and give his arm a rest at the same time.

Moving to the bullpen wouldn’t necessarily have to be a permanent move for Peavy.  Crosstown starter Ryan Dempster has moved back to the starting rotation after three years closing for the Cubs.  Dempster moved to the pen after an injury plagued season, and has thrown 200 innings in each season since returning to the starting rotation.

Peavy said that he would be open to pitching out of the bullpen if that’s what the White Sox wanted to do.  Pitching coach Don Cooper said that Peavy will be inserted in the starting rotation upon returning.

It might take another trip to the DL, or the continued struggles of Santos to convince the White Sox that Peavy should be closing games instead of starting them.