Player Profile: In the past few seasons, Jake Peavy has become a full-on veteran. He is past the stages of being a young, dominant pitcher where he was one of the best in the league and he posted an ERA under 3.00 four times in a five year span, including the 2007 NL Cy Young Award. He is past the shaky phase where he began to learn how to really pitch without his dominant stuff anymore, as he posted ERA’s of 4.63 and 4.92 in 2010 and 2011, respectively. No, now he is to the phase of a solid veteran pitcher. His strikeout rates have fallen, as he no longer posts K/9′s over 9.00 as he did four times between 2004 and 2009. However, he still has his trademark great control and in the past two years he has really molded into a solid middle-to-back-of-the-rotation starting pitcher.
2013 and Recent Past: After seeming to have vanquished his injury problems with a fully healthy 2012 season that saw him post a 3.37 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and go to his first All-Star Game since his Cy Young season in 2007, Peavy returned to form in 2013. He dealt with a few injuries in the early half of the season with the Chicago White Sox, but still was effective when he did start, posting a 4.28 ERA with excellent peripherals such as an 8.6 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9. A bit short of pitching at the Trade Deadline, the Red Sox pounced on Peavy’s availability– trading promising young shortstop Jose Iglesias to the Tigers as part of a three-team deal that netted Peavy. Down the stretch with the Red Sox, Peavy was everything he was expected to be as he went 4-1 with a 4.04 ERA and giving them a solid veteran presence in the most crucial time of the season. Peavy’s playoff performance left a bit to be desired, but he did shut down the Rays in Game 4 of the ALDS in a key, momentum-shifting game in that series.
2014 Outlook: There’s still a slim possibility that Peavy could be dealt before the season starts, but assuming he remains in Boston, he projects to be the team’s fourth starter. If Peavy stays healthy for a significant part of the season, it would be reasonable to expect more of the same for him. He likely will not be star for the Red Sox, but he will be more than adequate in a back-of-the-rotation spot, posting an ERA around 4.00 with a great walk rate and solid strikeout rate. If some of the Red Sox vaunted young pitching develops and is Major League ready this upcoming year, then the Red Sox will consider trading Peavy. If not, then they will probably get a qualifying offer draft pick from him after this season. Either way, he should bring a positive influence on the present and future of the Red Sox Organization.