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The Boston Red Sox made a move to acquire former Cy Young winner Jake Peavy at the trade deadline–a starter who has seen his better days. The question remains as to Peavy’s ability to replicate the productive season he had in 2012.
In a three team deal that involved the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers, Boston gave up the favorite for American League Rookie of the Year in Jose Iglesias in the mix.
Peavy is an upgrade for the rotation, but at a negligible level. The Tampa Bay Rays’ rotation is still much more potent than any other in the division. The Red Sox will still have to rely on their offensive attack to maintain their competitiveness.
Yet Boston made a move that they had to make. They needed starting pitching and they had an asset to make it happen. Iglesias is on fire right now, but don’t expect his performance to be permanent. Boston struck while the iron was hot knowing full well that prospect Xander Bogaerts is waiting in the wings. Bogarts is a much more polished player than Iglesias, and Red Sox nation will be cheering for ‘Bogaats’ for years to come.
We know who Peavy was, so lets look at what he is.
After 13 starts in 2013, Peavy holds a 4.28 ERA–near league average–while his FIP is a 4.09. Those numbers could get better as the Red Sox defense is much more stout than the White Sox. Both his FB% as well as HR/FB% are both the highest they’ve been in his career and that could be problematic at Fenway Park.
The good news on Peavy is his K% and BB% are both slighter better than his career rates this season and he has a chance to reach 200+ innings for the second consecutive year. Since 2012, Peavy hasn’t exceeded 170 innings since 2008–wear and tear or injury could strike at any moment for the former ace.
Getting Clay Buchholz back into the rotation should help immensely for Boston, along with the continued effectiveness of John Lackey, but the difference a pitcher like Peavy will make isn’t certain.
Perhaps this is a circumstance where we can put to use White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson’s unquantifiable ‘The Will To Win’. If Peavy in fact possesses this ‘TWTW’, knowing he’s playing for a serious contender might be enough motivation to turn in his best season in years.
Peavy’s success with Boston will depend on his ability to reach the 200+ innings mark. While it might make for a great regular season, the concern might grow over what he’ll have left the deeper Boston plays into the fall.
Peavy is (was?) a really good pitcher and there is a bit of risk for Boston. If he fails, there are going to be some questions over how much of a favorite the Red Sox will be when the post-season arrives.
I believe Peavy will be serviceable for Boston, but they aren’t getting the pitcher they think they are.
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