Jake Peavy won't pitch for the White Sox again in 2011.
Since coming to the White Sox, Peavy has set new career highs in ERA, with a 4.63 mark in 2010 and a 4.94 dud in 2011.He's thrown 218 2/3 innings since 2010, fewer than he threw in his Cy Young season of 2007. His strikeout rate has fallen, as has his velocity.
There were some encouraging signs for Peavy this season, as his 3.21 FIP/3.50 xFIP serve as positive notes. Behind those sparkling stats was a decreased walk rate, as Peavy's 1.93 BB/9 is a career low.
There are two ways to approach Peavy's 2011 season, at least in reference to how it'll affect 2012. The first is a pessimistic outlook, which states Peavy's dropped velocity and high ERA are major red flags for his future.
But there's a second view that can be taken, and it's actually somewhat optimistic. Peavy, at some points this season, has begun to learn how to pitch without the overpowering stuff he featured in San Diego. His walk rate is a good indication of that, although that he hasn't increased his ground ball rate is disconcerting.
No matter which line of thinking you subscribe to, the Sox shouldn't count on Peavy for more than 120 innings next season. Unfortunately, though, they'll probably have to, as his enormous salary makes a move to the bullpen worthless.
While things may not be looking up for the Sox next year, a full season of success out of Peavy *could* go a long way toward the Sox avoiding mediocrity.