Jake Peavy Makes Return for Chicago White Sox

Bleacher ReportContributor IIIMay 12, 2011

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 11:  Jake Peavy #44 of the Chicago White Sox throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on May 11, 2011 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Jake Peavy returned to the mound for the White Sox after battling shoulder tendinitis in spring training returning from a torn latissimus dorsi muscle in his back.

His final line of four runs allowed on seven hits and four strikeouts looks pedestrian, but getting back on the mound was a huge step for the White Sox. 

One of the more impressive aspects Peavy's start was his excellent control.

Sixty-seven of his 87 pitches were for strikes (73.6 percent), and he established a first-pitch strike to 64 percent of the hitters he faced. He threw 78.1 percent of his fastballs for strikes, and 73.3 percent of his off-speed pitches (slider, curveball and changeups) were for strikes. He also displayed above average command of his cutter throwing it for a strike at a 62.5 percent rate.  

Peavy displayed decent velocity in last night's start. He averaged 90.8 mph on his 41 fastballs (maxing out at 93.3 mph), which is only small drop from the 91.1 mph he averaged last season. He should gain some more velocity as he builds up more arm strength over the course of the season.

His slider lacked the same horizontal movement that it had shown in previous seasons by averaging a 1.64 in horizontal break compared to 2.9 in 2010. However, there was an extra inch in average downward movement. 

Peavy only recorded a 6.9 swinging strike percentage, but it is too early to scrutinize that number. Peavy's GB/FB ratio of 1.14 also represents a somewhat strong showing. 

The White Sox are planning to go with a six man rotation, which will benefit Peavy's recovery over the long run and the I expect Peavy to take Humber's spot in the rotation because Humber's xFIP of 4.10 shows that he is likely to regress.

While the final line may not look very impressive, the White Sox organization was just happy to see Peavy back on the mound. 


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