Jake Peavy admits he isn’t the same pitcher he was before shoulder surgery

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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.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.