Jake Peavy's groin injury should be the last straw for the White Sox, who now must go to an extremely conservative game plan with their high-priced starter.
Obviously, that's not talent-wise. But Peavy should be viewed like a bad fifth starter is viewed—whenever there's a chance to skip him in the starting rotation, the Sox do so. They don't ever move him up in the rotation, thus giving him the maximum number of days off between starts as possible. And, at the slightest hint of struggles, have A.J. Pierzynski or whoever is catching jog out to the mound to make sure Peavy isn't hurt.
Unfortunately, this is Jake Peavy's world in which we live. It's hardly Peavy's fault his body has suddenly been possessed by Mark Prior, but his competitive nature will always push him past his limit. The Sox should've recognized this by now, but as Jim wrote yesterday, the safety measures put in place for Peavy haven't been followed.
Granted, for Peavy, there's really no telling when his next ailment will arise. He was perfect through three innings yesterday, then fell apart in the fourth. Whatever you may have heard, Peavy was responsible for those six runs crossing the plate.
[Side rant: by placing the blame on Alexei Ramirez for the six-run fourth, you take all the responsibility out of the pitcher's hands. Yes, Ramirez made a poor throw. It left Peavy with a runner on first and one out instead of nobody on and two out. That's a situation Peavy should've been able to get out of under normal circumstances. Ramirez' error is absolutely no excuse for giving up a grand slam to one of baseball's worst hitters. Blaming him for the inning is absolutely foolish.]
More specifically, though, Peavy's groin allowed the Detroit rally. Peavy should know by now not to pitch through pain, but again, his competitive nature is going to overrule that. The Sox, then, should do everything they can to prevent Peavy from pitching through anything close to discomfort. But there's only so much Don Cooper, Ozzie Guillen and Herm Schneider can do when Peavy isn't admitting to being hurt, as I imagine was the case when Cooper went out to talk to Peavy during the fourth yesterday.
So, assuming Peavy won't be truthful about his pain until too late, the Sox need to enact the very conservative policy of skipping him as often as possible. Moving him up in the rotation, even if it would be a favorable matchup, needs to not happen again. And any time there's a chance to remove him from the game early, the Sox should do so.
If that means no more thrilling shutouts of Cleveland, so be it. It hopefully would mean more starts for Peavy down the road.