White Sox GM expects Jake Peavy to begin 2011 on the DL

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Jake Peavy has said that he hopes to be healthy by Opening Day following July shoulder surgery, but yesterday general manager Ken Williams noted that he may not begin throwing again until January and indicated that he expects the former Cy Young winner to begin 2011 on the disabled list:

I’m preparing in my mind that this will be something that we take very slow and we’re very careful with, so that we can make sure we get a solid, healthy season out of him and not have him less than full strength and less than all he can be. I’m not looking at April in my mind, but he may surprise me.

Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com quotes “a major-league source” who suggested that “it may be as late as June before Peavy is ready to return from an injury few baseball players have suffered,” which is a detached latissimus dorsi muscle under his right shoulder.

Peavy is under contract for $16 million in 2011 and $17 million in 2012, with a $22 million option or $4 million buyout for 2013, so Williams and the White Sox have every reason to take a long-term approach to his recovery.

Umpire Cory Blaser made two atrocious calls in the top of the 11th inning

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The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.

Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.

Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.

James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.

The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.