A 5-0 loss to Tampa Bay was bad enough, but the news that Jake Peavy left his rehab start in Birmingham with "discomfort" added injury to insult.
The 5-0 loss at the hands of Tampa Bay dealt the Sox their fifth consecutive defeat, still three short of last year's longest losing streak of eight games from Sept. 14-21. The pitching hasn't been great and the offense worse, and coupled with running into some pretty good starters in recent games...well, that's a good recipe for a losing streak.
But the Sox can rebound from an early-season five-game losing streak. That's not a problem. What is likely a problem is the discomfort felt by Peavy in Alabama today.
The extent of what Peavy felt after just 15 pitches (on which he allowed three runs) will be evaluated tomorrow. But discomfort in a rehab stint usually is a problem. The best-case scenario is that Peavy was sore from, let's say, sleeping funny or something like that. A somewhat realistic best-case scenario is that the discomfort isn't due to anything structural and will only push Peavy back a few weeks.
A realistic worst-case scenario could have Peavy being shut down for an extended period of time, starting his second stab at rehab in the summer, if that happens at all. I'll choose to err on the side of optimism until something concrete comes out, but either way, Peavy's goal of returning by the end of the month is kaput.
That means more starts for Philip Humber, who deserves some credit for holding his own through two starts this season. But the White Sox's path to a division title is much easier to navigate with Humber not in the starting rotation—his track record doesn't inspire much confidence. He's the best option the White Sox have right now.
However, if Peavy is going to be out for an extended period of time, the Sox may want to explore a trade to fill out the rotation. I'm not talking a big-time talent, or even a middle-of-the-road guy. Think more along the lines of Freddy Garcia, at least if the Sox are making this trade early in the year (like, before June).
What it all boils down to is this: the Sox need Peavy to be healthy, and his body isn't exactly cooperating.