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White Sox Wed Jul 07 2010

What if Peavy Can't Pitch Again This Season?

SoxLogoSmall.jpegWe knew the news would not be good, not the way Jake Peavy was hopping around last night after injuring himself on a second-inning pitch. But a detached latissimus dorsi muscle? Yeouch.

"This isn't good news, having something completely detached from the bone," Peavy told reporters before the White Sox beat the visiting Angels 5-2 on Wednesday for their 21st win in 26 games.

No sir. No it is not. Now the question is just what this bad news means for Chicago's playoff chances. What happens in the likely event that Peavy, one of their top starters, can't pitch again until 2011?

Well, for one thing, it probably means a good long look at Daniel Hudson, the 23-year-old right-hander who ranks as the organization's best pitching prospect. The Sox filled Peavy's roster spot Wednesday by promoting Jeffrey Marquez from Triple-A Charlotte, but he's just bullpen insurance until Hudson most likely comes up to take Peavy's spot in the rotation on Sunday against Kansas City.

If they're smart, the Sox will give Hudson every opportunity to be their fifth starter alongside Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd, John Danks and Freddy Garcia. Lord knows it would be folly of the highest level to trade Hudson for some overrated, overpriced or over-the-hill veteran pitcher simply so fans can feel like the front office is doing something at the trading deadline. (The same goes for Adam Dunn, a sterling hitter who nonetheless isn't worth paying a king's ransom in young talent.)

Let's see what the kid can do. He has blasted through the minor leagues, starring at five levels after being drafted in the fifth round two years ago. He made his Chicago debut last year as a September call-up and posted a 3.38 ERA in 16.2 innings, including two solid starts. This season in 17 starts for Charlotte, he is 11-4 with a 3.47 ERA, 108 strikeouts and 31 walks in 93.1 innings.

The loss of Peavy, the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner, is obviously a significant blow, but Hudson has the potential to be a huge help. I can't wait to see how it goes.

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Rick Abplanalp / July 8, 2010 8:53 AM

I agree. Hudson would have been foolish to trade away even if Peavy remained healthy and had a great 2010. The Sox already gave up four pitching prospects to get Peavy in the first place -- one of which is having a great year on the Padres. Here's to the Hudson era!

Jim Reedy / July 8, 2010 9:52 AM

Indeed, Rick. Of course, quite likely Kenny Williams doesn't need our advice on this one. Even with his history of trading off young talent (Clayton Richard, Gio Gonzalez, John Ely, et al.), there's no real chance he'd trade Daniel Hudson right now, is there?

Really, it's just about knowing your own players. Trading away Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. for Pedro Martinez worked out great for the Red Sox. Trading away John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander did not work out, long-term, for the Tigers (even though Doyle actually pitched really well for a year and a half).

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