By R.J. Anderson //
Jake Peavy is one of the most difficult, yet intriguing pitchers in the field this season. A few years ago, Peavy was one of the finest pitchers in the league while benefitting from the spacious environment of San Diego’s cavernous ballpark. Injuries have since crept into Peavy’s life, leaving his status as an annual question mark. Peavy’s below league-average ERA certainly did not help his draft value and neither will the reports suggesting he is set to miss the beginning of the season. Not everything is so dire, though, as when Peavy pitched in 2010, he was actually solid.
Peavy’s first five starts were nothing short of disasterous as he allowed nearly as many earned runs (25) as innings pitched (28.2) with a strikeout-to-walk ratio barely topping 1. Over his next 12 starts, Peavy allowed 30 earned runs in 78 innings while posting a strikeout-to-walk ratio over 5. The exact reasoning for the turnaround is unknown. Perhaps Peavy adjusted to his new surroundings or finally began to feel healthy after missing most of the previous season. The important thing is whether Peavy can continue the success once he returns this season.
Most projection systems say yes, but are without knowledge of Peavy’s injury history. The exact effect of the ailments are impossible to know. Perhaps he bounces back just fine, or maybe he loses some zip on his fastball and some command. There’s no safe expectation to be had. In which case, the best approach is cautionary. Peavy could prove to be a waiver wire steal upon his return, but for now, treat his status delicately.