With John Danks injured, Jake Peavy makes first ever relief appearance

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Left-hander John Danks left his start Saturday against the Nationals in the second inning with a strained left oblique, and with the White Sox bullpen already tired, manager Ozzie Guillen was forced to turn to Jake Peavy in relief.

For Peavy, it was the first career relief appearance after 238 major league starts with the Padres and White Sox.  He’s working on two days’ rest after coming off the DL and giving up three runs in 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday.

As of this writing, he’s working in the seventh inning having already thrown three scoreless innings and struck out five.

Danks was running to back up third base on a flyball when he was injured in the second.  The White Sox had Brian Bruney take over then and pitch the third, but they didn’t think they could get through the rest of the game using strictly relievers.  They’re short-handed in the pen because of the current six-man rotation.

That will likely change on Sunday, though.  Danks seems sure to land on the disabled list, putting the rotation back at five.   The White Sox will call up a reliever to replace him on the roster.

Update: Peavy ended up throwing four scoreless innings and picking up the win in relief.  He allowed only one hit and struck out seven in the 55-pitch outing.  If one day was any indication, he would have just fine in the closer’s role had the White Sox opted to take him up on it.

If the Tigers are sub-.500 at the end of June it’ll be fire sale time

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Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.

This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.

So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.

The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.