Troubling news here for the White Sox.
According to Mark D. Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, right-hander Jake Peavy has been diagnosed with rotator cuff tendinitis and might not be able to make his scheduled Cactus League start Thursday against the Cubs.
If he’s unable to make that outing, the White Sox will probably also scratch him from his first scheduled start of the regular season, April 6 in Kansas City.
Peavy was a bit behind the other Chicago pitchers when spring training began because he was still in recovery mode from July surgery to repair a detached latissimus dorsi muscle. He told reporters Sunday that his current rotator cuff issues have nothing to do with that procedure, but he also admitted that the discomfort has been with him since his March 6 debut.
Here’s a quote from Peavy gathered Sunday afternoon by Scott Merkin of MLB.com:
“I’m not going to sit here and say it’s a setback because we don’t know what it is yet,” said Peavy, “but certainly things have slowed down.”
If Peavy isn’t ready when camp breaks, look for 28-year-old Philip Humber to draw a few early season starts.
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.