The bell tolls for thee, Jake Peavy – the pitching bell, that is. Apologies to Donne and Hemingway.
Peavy has a ring, a duck boat and a splendid career major league pitching resume.
What Peavy is missing is positive numbers for 2014.
For 2014 Peavy has been a bitter disappointment to Red Sox fans and, no doubt, to Peavy himself – a consummate professional in the art of pitching.
In the early going it was lack of support, but as the season progressed Peavy’s numbers have deteriorated. Each start brings the word “ugly” to the surface. In his 16 starts, the Red Sox are 5-11.
After Peavy’s latest mound appearance he leads the AL in home runs allowed at 16. In his last nine starts, Peavy’s ERA is 6.38. Peavy’s season numbers are continuing to sink. His ERA is at 4.93 and his WHIP, inflated by a 3.5/BB9%, is at 1.46. His record stands at 1-6.
Can he be moved?
Peavy is on the books for $14.5M at about the half way mark for 2014. A player option, unlikely to be attained, would be for $15M in 2015. The stark reality is very few teams would be willing to assume such debt based on production shown nor trade a player of any significant value. Peavy is showing a decline that states retirement is imminent.
In 2013 Peavy added depth and stability to a Sox rotation that was needed for a playoff push. That was accomplished at the steep price of Jose Iglesias. With hindsight, was that price worth a ring? You bet.
Can he be pulled from the rotation?
Peavy’s future with the Red Sox would end after the 2014 season. The transition to other options has already begun with Brandon Workman and Rubby De La Rosa making a strong case for staying in the rotation. Allen Webster is high on the “Will Call” list as he continues to produce at Pawtucket. Others on the farm are building up their portfolio.
The fact is, if Boston was seven games above .500, in a battle for first and with an offense producing you would still see Peavy’s days numbered for this season.
In baseball it is, “what have you done for me lately?”