Dave Van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune asked Jake Peavy if he’s 100 percent healthy heading into spring training and the 30-year-old right-hander gave an answer that can’t be very encouraging to White Sox fans:
I’m as 100 percent as I can be. I don’t know if I’m 100 percent as to what I was four years ago. I know I’m as 100 percent as 100 percent is going to get after what I had done. I guess that’s the best way to say it.
What he “had done” was shoulder surgery in 2010.
Peavy was more effective last season than his ugly 4.92 ERA would suggest, posting a 95/24 K/BB ratio in 112 innings, but his average fastball clocked in at a career-low 90.7 miles per hour and since being traded to the White Sox in mid-2009 he’s started 38 games with a 4.49 ERA. Some of that is due to leaving the National League and pitcher-friendly Petco Park for the American League and hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field, but based on his stuff and results Peavy is definitely correct that he hasn’t been the same since exiting San Diego.
And unfortunately for the White Sox he’s owed $17 million this season and will have to be bought out for $4 million–instead of a $22 million option–next year.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.