After throwing 100 pitches in a rehab start yesterday, Jake Peavy appears ready to re-join the White Sox rotation next week.
Beerleaguer: Peavy is expected to make his 2011 White Sox debut either Wednesday in Oakland or Friday in Anaheim.
While results-wise, Philip Humber has been great with a 3.06 ERA, eventually his .212 BABIP will regress and he'll start to allow more baseruners. That hardly means he's doomed to an ERA north of five for the rest of the season, but it's tough to see Humber keeping his ERA around three for an extended period of time.
With that as a backdrop, Peavy's return could come at a perfect time. The Sox can pre-emptively correct for Humber's worse luck by inserting Peavy into the rotation and moving Humber to long relief, maybe spot-starting him as a sixth starter on occasion to give Peavy an extra day of rest.
What worries me is the backlash the Sox could face if they remove Humber from the rotation in favor of Peavy, who then proceeds to struggle in his first few starts. I'm not trying to take anything away from Humber, but his success has been tenuous this season. It'd be awesome if he were able to sustain it, but it'd also be unlikely.
Peavy has yet to prove himself for an extended period of time in the American League, though, which makes this a tricky situation. If Peavy works an ERA and FIP around 4.00, that'd look disappointing in the face of Humber's early-season success. But those numbers would likely be no worse than what Humber could accomplish long-term. And, last two seasons aside, Peavy has a whole lot more upside for 2011 than Humber. The Sox need all the help they can get at this point, and Peavy offers a higher ceiling.
Too bad he can't hit.