Jake Peavy missed the second half of last season following shoulder surgery and spent the first five weeks of this year on the disabled list as part of his recovery, but since rejoining the White Sox’s rotation on May 11 he’s 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in four starts.
Even more impressive than the nice-looking 3.24 ERA is that Peavy has totaled 16 strikeouts in 25 innings while walking a grand total of one hitter (Ian Kinsler of the Rangers, on May 24).
Peavy’s current strikeout rate would be a career-low by a wide margin and his velocity is down somewhat, as he’s averaged 91.1 miles per hour with his fastball compared to 92-93 mph during his peak with the Padres.
On the other hand he remains far from a soft-tosser, racking up eight strikeouts in his shutout of the Indians on May 18, and the fact that his control has been so good after going 10 months between starts because of major shoulder surgery is remarkable.
Moving from the NL to the AL and from the majors’ most extreme pitcher-friendly ballpark to a home that boosts power means Peavy was never a good bet to replicate his outstanding raw numbers from San Diego even before the injury, but through 24 starts in Chicago he has a 3.97 ERA and 127/41 K/BB ratio and the White Sox have to be very encouraged by how he’s looked post-surgery.
On Sunday, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles spoke to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. Giles said, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston.” Giles won a World Series with the Astros last year, but talked about communication issues with the Astros and compared them unfavorably to the Blue Jays. Giles described the communication as having been “lost” and credited the Jays for staying patient with him.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch responded to Giles’ comments on Monday. Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Hinch said:
I think he’s wrong and I’m disappointed that he would go down that path given how much work and time and energy and communication that our front office, our coaching staff, me, we all went through this with him. And I understand, there was some disappointment in his tenure as an Astro because of the turbulent way things went about. We gave him every opportunity, we communicated with him effectively, we have an incredible culture where every single player will tell you it’s one of the best cultures they’ve had, one of the best communication envrionments they’ve had. They all know their roles. They all know their situations. To have one person out of all the guys in our clubhouse come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong.
While Giles certainly could be embellishing or deliberately misconstruing his time there, Hinch’s rebuttal doesn’t actually disqualify anything Giles said. Giles certainly could have had a negative experience in Houston even if everyone else was enjoying the “incredible culture” and “one of the best communication environments.”
Given how the Astros — including Hinch — responded to criticism about their acquiring an accused domestic abuser, they’re not in the best position to boast about an “incredible culture” anyway.
At any rate, this is a he-said, he-said situation. If anything more comes of it, it will be Giles further torching a bridge.