Tag: Jake Peavy

Jake Peavy Injury: Updates on Giants Pitcher’s Back and Return

The San Francisco Giants have lost some pitching depth heading into the season’s final month, as Jake Peavy has gone on the disabled list.  

Continue for updates. 

Peavy Lands on 15-Day DL

Saturday, Aug. 27

Per the Giants’ official Twitter account, Peavy is suffering from a strained lower back. The team recalled Albert Suarez to start Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Braves

After he struggled as a starter, the Giants moved Peavy to the bullpen earlier this month. He hasn’t been any better in that role, posting a 6.75 ERA in eight relief appearances, but he was going to get the start on Saturday with Matt Cain still on the disabled list. 

The injuries to San Francisco’s starting rotation are just part of the problem for this team in the second half.

After going into the All-Star break with the best record in Major League Baseball (57-33), the Giants have gone 13-25 over their last 38 games and trail the Los Angeles Dodgers by one game in the National League West. 

Peavy seemed to resurrect his career with the Giants after they acquired him in a trade during the 2014 season. He helped the team win the World Series two years ago and posted a 3.58 ERA in 19 starts last season. 

This year, Peavy’s age (35) and mileage on his right arm have caught up with him. The Giants still have a strong trio atop their rotation with Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, but the team has to go deep into the vault just to get through the days when those three aren’t on the mound.

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Peavy Becomes 5th Giants Pitcher to Hit a Home Run in 2015

San Francisco Giants pitcher Jake Peavy hit a home run off Cincinnati Reds pitcher Collin Balester during the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game, becoming the fifth different Giants pitcher to homer this season, which ties an MLB record, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Peavy was an unlikely candidate to help San Fransisco match the record, as he only had two career home runs before Wednesday’s game, with both of those coming back in 2006 as a member of the San Diego Padres.

He does now have a .226 batting average for the season, but his career batting line of .168/.205/.226 is only somewhat above average for a pitcher.

Teammate Madison Bumgarner, who has been the best-hitting pitcher in all of baseball the past two seasons, unsurprisingly accounts for five of the nine home runs hit by San Francisco hurlers, with Tim Hudson, Ryan Vogelsong and Mike Leake each chipping in one.

Leake is also unusually good in the batter’s box for a pitcher, but Vogelsong and Hudson are closer to Peavy’s level.

With one current member of the starting rotation (rookie Chris Heston) yet to go deep this year, the Giants have a reasonable chance to be the first team ever with six different pitchers to homer in a season.

Heston doesn’t have any home runs in his 49 career at-bats, but he does have a pair of doubles, along with a strong (for a pitcher) .204/.204/.245 batting line.

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Early Grades for All of the San Francisco Giants’ Offseason Acquisitions

The 2015 season is in full swing, and the month of April has been a tumultuous on for the San Francisco Giants. The Giants have a record of 9-13 and are in last place in the NL West. They trail the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers by 4.5 games.

Much has been made of the Giants losing Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse in the free-agent market. In addition, general manager Brian Sabean was unsuccessful in landing a big-name player to bolster the pitching staff or add power to the offense.

The Giants struck out on Jon Lester and James Shields, two of their primary pitching targets this winter. In addition, as players like Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Michael Cuddyer and Hanley Ramirez all switched teams, the Giants went for a more cost-effective route.

Sabean ultimately brought in Nori Aoki and Casey McGehee to fill the spots vacated by the departures of Sandoval and Morse. In addition, non-roster invitee Justin Maxwell made the team.

The Giants also brought Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong back into the fold. Both were free agents but elected to return to San Francisco.

These five players encompass the Giants’ offseason acquisitions currently playing on the 25-man roster. We will assess how each of them has done in April and provide them with a one-month grade.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.

Contract data courtesy of Baseball Prospectus.

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Jake Peavy Injury: Updates on Giants Star’s Back and Return

The San Francisco Giants have gotten off to a rough start in 2015 and will now be without right-handed pitcher Jake Peavy due to an ailing back. Peavy was taken out of his start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night after 3.2 innings due to back stiffness.

Continue for updates.

Giants Place Peavy on DL

Saturday, April 18

According to the Giants’ official Twitter account, Peavy was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a back strain:

He allowed eight hits and four runs to the Diamondbacks before his exit. 

Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area added more details on Peavy’s injury and Peavy’s thoughts on heading to the disabled list:

After the loss, Peavy told Chris Haft of MLB.com that physically he “was plenty good enough to be out there” before the Diamondbacks smacked him around.

The Giants currently sit in last place in the National League West with a 3-9 recordthe only team under .500 in the division at the start of play Saturday. Peavy has made two starts covering 7.2 innings with a 9.39 ERA and 12 hits allowed.

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Scott Miller’s Starting 9: Star Power, Rebuilt Rosters Make NL West Must-See TV

1. NL West: Change, Money and Bubble Gum

One week in, and you know what’s more fun than Furious 7 meets Coachella?

The National League West.

Grab a fistful of Dubble Bubble, because that’s the first checkpoint for a summer of bubble-blowing good times: Padres home opener Thursday, ninth inning, Giants center fielder Angel Pagan at the plate and suddenly he and San Diego catcher Derek Norris are jawing and must be separated.

The occasion?

Pagan flipped a wad of chewed bubble gum at Norris, who immediately took offense.

Pagan pleaded that he meant to toss it further, but the wad stuck to the pine tar on his glove and stunted his throw.

Norris went ballistic because, well, as he told reporters afterward, “I don’t come into center field and throw gum at him when he’s playing defense.”

Great point.

Chomp, chomp.   

The Padres, for the first time in a decade, are actually trying.

The Dodgers, after two seasons of 90-plus wins and a postseason in which Clayton Kershaw still failed to get them to their first World Series since 1988, are rebooting.

The Giants are hurting.

The Diamondbacks rebuilt their front office with new baseball ops guru (and Hall of Famer) Tony La Russa and new general manager Dave Stewart.

And the Rockies, who ever knows what they’re up to?

“We know what the vision is,” new Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins says. “The guys who were brought in here, we know why we were brought in.”

New Dodgers baseball operations boss Andrew Friedman, special assistant Josh Byrnes (the deposed Padres GM) and GM Farhan Zaidi completed 10 trades in 25 days in December. They completely rebuilt up the middle with Rollins, second baseman Howie Kendrick, rookie center fielder Joc Pederson and catcher Yasmani Grandal.

“I knew we had talented players,” Rollins says. “But we have a good team.”

That’s what the Padres think, too—of themselves. Their winter made the Dodgers look like they were standing pat, and new GM A.J. Preller carried it right up to Opening Day eve, when he acquired the game’s best closer, Craig Kimbrel, in what otherwise was an exchange of bad contracts. The Padres got the Artist Formerly Known at B.J. Upton (he’s Melvin now), and they unloaded outfielder Cameron Maybin and Carlos Quentin.

So add Kimbrel to Norris, Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Will Middlebrooks and James Shields in what might be the most stunning and dizzying offseason that one club has ever had.

“The vibe is completely different,” says starter Ian Kennedy, who strained a hamstring in his first start of the season on Thursday and now is on the disabled list. “You have these high-profile guys that people know. A lot of people didn’t know Padres players before.”

Not even the folks running the witness protection program.

“Our pitching staff was so under the radar, but we had the second-best ERA in the National League last year,” Kennedy continues, accurately speaking of the 3.27 ERA the ’14 Padres produced. “You get Kemp, who’s been on national TV so often and is an all-time Dodger, Justin Upton, an All-Star, Wil Myers, who is supposed to be a superstar player like Mike Trout, Norris…all of these people have been to the playoffs.

“The vibe, everybody is excited.”

Including fans who have leaped off the bandwagon by the thousands in recent years as previous ownerships alienated them. The four-game series against the Giants just completed set a Petco Park attendance record of 168,181, and the new Padres surely won some more hearts.

Though he hasn’t homered yet, Kemp is off to a roaring start at .367/.406/.533 through Sunday with three doubles and a triple. He pumped his fists and emitted a primal scream following a key triple Sunday—that burst of joy/enthusiasm could be the poster moment of the first week.

“I feel better now than I felt in the second half last year,” Kemp told Bleacher Report in the final days of spring camp. He batted .309/.365/.606 with 17 homers and 54 RBI in the second half last year in looking like the old Matt Kemp before significant shoulder and ankle surgeries.

“My legs weren’t all the way under me, as far as being able to run the way I wanted to run,” Kemp continued. “Now, I’ll be able to do some things I couldn’t do. People don’t understand: Microfracture surgery is pretty serious.”

Then there are the Giants, who you might recall have won three World Series titles in five seasons and have no plans to surrender despite their recent track record of odd-year disappointments and a stunning array of injuries.

Right-hander Matt Cain (flexor strain, right forearm) is out for several weeks, an early blow the Giants did not see coming. Outfielder Hunter Pence (broken arm) won’t return until May. First baseman Brandon Belt missed most of the first week with a groin strain. Manager Bruce Bochy was forced to juggle his rotation when right-hander Jake Peavy‘s lower back locked up.

“It’s been one thing after another since we started spring training,” Peavy says. “That being said, it’s early and we’re going to hold the fort down. It’s the Next Man Up mentality.

“This team has a quiet confidence. Hopefully, we find and create some depth out of this situation.

“But there ain’t no way these teams (Dodgers and Padres) ain’t panning out. Both have a lot of talent. Both have a lot of exposure. We’re not banking on these teams not jelling. We expect the Dodgers to be a great team, as always, and we expect the Padres to be good.

“But this group of guys we have knows how to compete, and we expect to.”

In the season’s first six days, the Padres’ Shields outpitched both the Dodgers’ Kershaw and the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner.

So pass the bubble gum, and settle in. This summer more than any other, you never know what’s coming next in the NL West.


2. Jackie Robinson Day: Stand and Salute

You can make an argument—and I will, every year—that the way baseball blows out Jackie Robinson Day is one of the game’s finest moments.

Former commissioner Bud Selig spoke often of the game’s responsibility as a social institution, and those roots trace back to the Dodgers, Branch Rickey and Robinson smashing the color barrier on April 15, 1947.

That moment, incredibly, came 17 years before the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It banned racial segregation in the schools, the workplace and the voting booths.

That baseball was so far ahead of the rest of the country absolutely is worth remembering and celebrating. Especially now, with a steady string of sickening moments—Sanford, Florida; Ferguson, Missouri; New York; South Carolina—that suggest we’re still not where we should be in this country.

So MLB will hold Jackie Robinson Day on Wednesday, and players throughout the game will wear No. 42 in his honor. The official celebration will take place in Dodger Stadium with the Civil Rights Game between the Mariners and Dodgers. Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s widow, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Don Newcombe, a former teammate of Jackie’s, and Joni Campanella, daughter of the late Dodgers’ catcher Roy Campanella, will participate too.

Players wearing No. 42 traces back to 2007—the brilliant idea of Ken Griffey Jr. It’s true. Griffey that year asked Selig if it would be OK to wear No. 42 in tribute on Jackie Robinson Day, and when Selig said he would bring the idea to Rachel Robinson, Griffey asked if he could make that call himself.

In the end, Selig loved the idea so much he asked Griffey whether he would mind if baseball expanded that idea to every player.

Now, Griffey has another idea that would build upon Jackie Robinson Day.

“I look at guys who have done so much, and not only for baseball. The next one I’d like to see is Roberto Clemente, everyone wear No. 21,” Griffey told me when we spoke this winter, referring to the former Pirates outfielder who was the first Latin American and Caribbean player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Clemente was killed in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972, while en route to delivering aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Baseball already presents the Roberto Clemente Award at the end of each season to an elite player who also is personally involved with community work, an honor that dates back to 1973.

“I understand we give an award at the end of the year, but maybe if we do it on [Roberto Clemente Day], and honor the things that he did for other people, the things that they all went through,” Griffey continued. “It could be on the last day of the season because that was the last day he played.

“As a baseball player, we look forward to those types of celebrations. Whether it’s wearing a throwback uniform for the Mariners, or whatever, we look forward to being able to wear uniforms of certain guys who mean so much to the organization. It’s a lot of fun to be able to do that and celebrate them.”


3. The Angels Should Be Ashamed

If Angry Arte Moreno, owner of the Los Angeles Angels of We Should Be Embarrassed, insists on blaming someone for the current Josh Hamilton mess, he should look in the mirror.

It was Moreno who signed Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million deal even amateur armchair GMs could have told you would be a horrendous contract.

Nobody could have predicted that Hamilton would descend back into the hell of cocaine, as he reportedly did, according to the New York Daily News, but the possibilities were there. The entire world knew of his history of addiction. Age 31 when he signed the deal, Hamilton also had a tremendous amount of wear and tear on his body.

This was a high-risk deal from Day 1. And now that the Angels have been burned with two years of underperformance followed by the reported cocaine relapse, for them to take the public offensive against Hamilton is outrageous. This is a guy who clearly needs help, and that phony family atmosphere the organization promotes has never looked so inauthentic.

“It defies logic that Josh’s reported behavior is not a violation of his drug program,” read a statement attributed to club president John Carpino.

“The Angels have serious concerns about Josh’s conduct, health and behavior, and we are disappointed that he has broken an important commitment which he made to himself, his family, his teammates and our fans,” read a statement attributed to GM Jerry Dipoto.

Both clearly were serving as henchmen for Moreno, who stayed in the shadows until Friday, when he said he couldn’t guarantee Hamilton would play for the Angels again.

It is difficult to imagine the Angels being an attractive destination for future free agents when the team is so quick to trash the ones who disappoint.


4. Phillies Closer: Baby sitter Needed

Three years into a four-year, $50 million deal, Philadelphia closer Jonathan Papelbon continues to take his employers’ millions with little investment of his own.

“I don’t really feel much like a Phillie,” Papelbon told Julian Benbow of The Boston Globe last week.

And: “What is a Phillie? A horse? That’s what it is? I feel like a horse.”

It’s tempting to say Papelbon should be seen and not heard. Yet that’s dangerous, too: It was last September when he grabbed his crotch in the direction of Philadelphia fans.

Of course, their ungrateful closer isn’t the only thing the Phillies have to worry about. Heading into this week, first baseman Ryan Howard and second baseman Chase Utley were a combined 5-for-39 (.128) with 13 strikeouts.


5. Never Dull with Yankees and Red Sox

When the Yankees scored seven times in the first inning against Boston Sunday night, it was the first time the Yanks scored seven or more first-inning runs against the Red Sox since Aug. 15, 1954, when Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra were in the lineup and Tom Brewer started for the Red Sox, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

And in Friday night’s 19-inning, 6-5 Boston win, the two teams combined to use 17 pitchers and throw 627 pitches.

Every player on Boston’s 25-man roster played except infielder Brock Holt and starting pitchers Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello and Justin Masterson.

The Yankees used 21 of their 25-man roster, everybody except CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Masahiro Tanaka and Adam Warren.


6. Springer’s Got Some Springs

If you missed Houston right fielder George Springer’s sensational catch against the Rangers on Sunday, you can fix that mistake right now.


7. Weekly Power Rankings

1. Home Openers: Ah, the promise of warm weather and summer vacations. A promise no other sport can make.

2. Tigers: Undefeated Tabbies (heading into the week) savage Minnesota and Cleveland to tune of MLB-best plus-31 run differential. Did someone say 1984?

3. Royals: Quick, start the stopwatch to see which is quicker—center fielder Lorenzo Cain chasing down fly balls or frisky starter Yordano Ventura’s mouth chasing down Mike Trout.

4. Stanozolol: The old-school steroid of choice makes a comeback, knocking out Jenrry Mejia (Mets), Ervin Santana (Twins), David Rollins (Mariners) and Arodys Vizcaino (Braves) for 80 games each.

5. Cubs bathrooms: After Opening Night debacle, the team brings in 72 portable toilets. And still no Kris Bryant.


 8. Superhuman Player of the Week

Yes, the Tigers finally lost Monday. But that won’t happen often if this continues:


9. How Do You Like Ned Yost’s Managing Now?

Look at these Royals go:


9a. Rock ‘n’ Roll Lyric of the Week

Happy Jackie Robinson Day….

“We’ll walk hand in hand
“We’ll walk hand in hand
“We’ll walk hand in hand, someday
“Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
“We shall overcome, someday”

— Pete Seeger, We Shall Overcome


Scott Miller covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report. 

Follow Scott on Twitter and talk baseball.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

San Francisco Giants: Biggest Storylines at the Start of the 2015 Season

The San Francisco Giants have won three of their first four games. In traditional Giants fashion, all of the games have been close, tightly contested contests.

In recent history, the Giants have excelled in these types of games. They have a quiet confidence that is perpetuated by manager Bruce Bochy.

Arguably, the most exciting development for the Giants is that Madison Bumgarner looks strong and is poised to lead the San Francisco pitching staff. In his first start since his incredible performance to close out the Kansas City Royals in the World Series, Bumgarner looked in top form.

Bumgarner threw seven strong innings, allowing six hits and a walk and striking out three batters. He allowed only one run and earned his first victory of the season.

In addition to Bumgarner’s stellar performance, there have been several other major developments already this year.

The Giants opened the season with Hunter Pence and Travis Ishikawa on the disabled list. Unfortunately, additional injury concerns have hit the club in the first few days of the year.

Let’s take a look at the biggest developments of the 2015 season, thus far.

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Giants Tread Lightly in Fluid NL West with Casey McGehee, Jake Peavy Moves

Plenty involved, plenty underwhelming.

That has been the synopsis of the San Francisco Giants’ post-World Series offseason to this point. The team has been heavy in the rumor mill and has handed out lucrative offers to the likes of Pablo Sandoval and Jon Lester only to see them rejected.

The failed attempts have left the franchise without a blockbuster acquisition as Christmas approaches while three other teams in their division—the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks—have made significant moves to make themselves better now and in the future, and none seem to be content with where they stand.

The Giants responded by throwing a couple of pebbles into the Pacific Ocean on Friday afternoon, trading for 32-year-old third baseman Casey McGehee, per Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, to replace the departed Sandoval and re-signing starter Jake Peavy. They are small moves and do not necessarily make the Giants a better team or the favorite to win the National League West.

As Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles wrote about the trade:

“…McGehee will probably not hit poorly enough to get released.”

The Peavy signing is logical. He performed well once moving to the National League last year after a disastrous first 20 starts with the Boston Red Sox. Peavy ended the regular season with a 2.17 ERA with the Giants, and considering their needs in the rotation, he is a nice fit at two years and $24 million. Even if he will be 34 in May.

McGehee was the NL’s Comeback Player of the Year after hitting .287/.355/.357 with a .712 OPS. He hit 29 doubles but only four home runs, while hitting into a league-leading 31 double plays. Overall, he was an average hitter (99 OPS-plus) with slightly below-average defense at third base a year after playing in Japan.

That makes McGehee a downgrade for the Giants. When compared to Sandoval, McGehee is a weaker defender with less power and a higher propensity to strike out but a higher on-base percentage.

McGehee had breakout seasons in 2009 and 2010 with the Milwaukee Brewers, hitting 39 home runs and driving in 170 to go with an .823 OPS.

At that time, he was a wonderful complement to Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart. In his two major league seasons after that, McGehee was so bad offensively that the New York Yankees eventually sent him to Class A for a short time before he made his way to Japan for the 2013 season.

What can be scary is that so much of McGehee’s offensive value is tied to his batting average, which was 18th-best in the league. As Brisbee also notes, any regression in that category, added to his inabilities to hit the ball out of the park and stay out of double plays, significantly hinders his overall value.

ZiPS projects Giants fans won’t spend a ton of time hating this deal, though (via ESPN’s Dan Szymborski):

There is another side to this McGehee trade that could make it a fantastic move by the time April rolls around. He is projected to earn about $3.5 million next season, per Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors, which is somewhere around $15.5 million less than what the Giants would have paid Sandoval in 2015 had he re-upped. That leaves the door wide open for the Giants to add a front-line starting pitcher.

With questions surrounding Matt Cain after his elbow surgery, Jake Peavy’s effectiveness at age 34 and how Madison Bumgarner will bounce back from pitching 270 innings last season—his highest total ever by more than 45 innings—the Giants could certainly stand to keep playing in the free-agent market.

If we assume the Giants are not willing to go beyond the $150 million or so they offered Lester, that fact takes them out of play for Max Scherzer but leaves them major players for James Shields.

While older and with more innings on his arm than Scherzer or Lester, Shields is not likely to cost nearly as much as either and is an effective innings-eater. Shields could also benefit from the National League lineups and the big, pitcher-friendly NL West ballparks, although they aren’t much different than the ones in the American League Central.

Since the Giants don’t have the personnel resources to make a trade for guys such as Cole Hamels or Johnny Cueto, Shields makes the most sense. Plus, he also is affordable enough that the Giants can still find a left fielder, although that well is drying up quickly.

The spare cash could also land the Giants Cuban pitching prospect Yoan Lopez. Lopez is 21 with a high-90s fastball and plenty of upside. The team’s interest makes sense since the Giants were also in on Cuban defectors Jose Abreu, Rusney Castillo and Yasmany Tomas.

Whatever the Giants decide to do, they have options that are not necessarily limited by a lack of funds. The money is there, and this McGehee trade is partly the reason. If the journeyman third baseman can help the club add a big-ticket pitcher, this trade will be a win.

If the Giants cannot land another impact starting pitcher, the McGehee trade will not only be a downgrade at third base, it could also anger a fanbase that has sold out AT&T Park for the last four years.

Here’s to Giants fans hoping general manager Brian Sabean hasn’t finished maneuvering.


Anthony Witrado covers Major League Baseball for Bleacher Report. He spent the previous three seasons as the national baseball columnist at Sporting News, and four years before that as the Brewers beat writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Follow Anthony on Twitter @awitrado and talk baseball here.

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Giants’ AT&T Park Is Perfect Place for Jake Peavy to Succeed in Career Twilight

Since the day AT&T Park was officially open for business, the San Francisco Giants have been an attractive destination for pitchers because the stadium plays as one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in all of baseball.

That undoubtedly played at least a part in right-hander Jake Peavy deciding to re-sign with the team this offseason, as he reached an agreement early Friday morning, per Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.

The new contract is for two years and $24 million with a full no-trade clause, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. He will earn $7 million in 2015 and $10 million in 2016 and receive a $4 million signing bonus.

That is right in line with the two-year, $23 million deal Tim Hudson signed with the team last season, and Peavy will now join Hudson and ace Madison Bumgarner atop a Giants rotation that still has some questions to answer at the back end.

Matt Cain is returning from offseason elbow surgery, Tim Lincecum has been far from reliable the past few seasons and Yusmeiro Petit has never been a member of the starting rotation for a full season.

Based on his performance after being traded to San Francisco from Boston in July, the decision to re-sign Peavy was an easy one for the Giants, as he proved to be as good of a pickup as higher-profile trade chips David Price and Jon Lester, if not better. 

The big difference there is, while Price and Lester are fully expected to put up similar numbers over an entire season in 2015, asking Peavy to duplicate that performance would be wishful thinking at best.

At this point in his career, the 33-year-old is simply not the same dominant pitcher he was during his prime with the San Diego Padres, but he still has his moments.

At the same time, it’s probably fair to say that he’s a better pitcher than the guy who went 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA (4.80 FIP) in 20 starts with the Red Sox prior to being traded last year.

That’s where the AT&T Park part of all of this comes into play.

Sure, there were other reasons for Peavy to re-sign with the Giants, chief among them a chance to continue playing for manager Bruce Bochy.

Bochy is like a father figure to me too,” Peavy told Darren Hartwell of NESN.com following last year’s trade. “Bochy had me at 20 years old; now 13 years later at 33, here we go again. I hope we have a lot of the same mojo that we had together in San Diego.”

At the end of the day, though, an extreme fly-ball pitcher like Peavy was never in the best position to succeed pitching in U.S. Cellular Field or Fenway Park.

For those of you not familiar with Park Factors, essentially a 1.000 rating means that a park is league-average in that area. Anything above 1.000 favors hitters, while anything below favors pitchers.

It’s also worth nothing that the Fenway Park home run rating was a bit skewed this past season by an anemic Red Sox offense. The 0.845 mark in 2013 and 1.088 mark in 2012 are more indicative of how that ballpark actually plays.

So just how extreme of a fly-ball pitcher is Peavy? Glad you asked.

The average home run-to-fly ball rate generally hovers right around 10 percent, and that’s the area where Peavy is in for perhaps the most regression this coming season.

His 10.6 percent HR/FB rate during his 20 starts with the Red Sox was right around where you would expect it to be, but his 2.4 percent HR/FB mark during his time with the Giants simply is not sustainable.

That being said, if Peavy is going to continue to succeed through that regression, AT&T Park gives him the best chance to do it.

In 20 career starts there, Peavy has gone 11-7 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.230 WHIP and has allowed just eight home runs in 126 innings of work.

For the record, AT&T Park has ranked 30th, 28th, 30th and 30th in home run rate the past four seasons, according to ESPN Park Factors.

A fierce competitor and a terrific clubhouse presence, Peavy is a ballplayer in every sense of the word and a good fit for a Giants team that always seems to play with a chip on its shoulder.

Chances are he won’t come close to matching the numbers he put up post-trade in 2014, but there is no reason to think he can’t win double-digit games with an ERA well under 4.00, and AT&T Park should help him do just that.


All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference, unless otherwise noted.

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Jake Peavy to Giants: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

After bouncing from coast to coast in less than a year, Jake Peavy has decided to stay put in the National League West Division, as the former Cy Young winner has reportedly agreed to a contract with the San Francisco Giants.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports first reported the news early Friday morning and has provided details of the contract (h/t Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com):

The market for Peavy took some time to develop, which wasn’t unexpected given his age and how many starters were available this winter. It wasn’t until the winter meetings that something started to happen, with Rosenthal reporting the Los Angeles Dodgers were showing interest:

Even though the Dodgers are operating with a new front office, the organization certainly knows how much better Peavy seems to pitch in the National League West. The 33-year-old right-hander was impressive last year after being traded to San Francisco, posting a 2.17 ERA in 78.2 innings. 

This was an important decision for Peavy, who has spent 13 seasons in the big leagues without being a free agent. He told Crasnick in early December that he feels a burden of trying to prove doubters wrong based on how things ended for him in the World Series:

I have a lot to prove. If I went out and threw a shutout in Game 6 or pitched the way I did down the stretch, maybe it would have allowed me to relax too much this winter and not play this role I need to play. I need to have people doubting me, because that’s when you dig deep and find out what you’re made of.

I like it to a degree, because it spurs you on and kicks you in the butt. I’ve done that my whole life. I have no problem at 33 proving that I’m not a washed-up 40-year-old.

That’s something to remember about this situation: Peavy is relatively young. He’s reaching a point at which pitchers see declines in velocity and have to change their approaches, but there’s potential for another solid season or two. 

Crasnick also tweeted that Peavy has a higher-quality start percentage (six innings, three earned runs or fewer) than a few high-profile starters:

Peavy isn’t going to be Jon Lester or Yu Darvish moving forward, but this isn’t some washed-up pitcher merely holding on to past glory. He would be helped by playing with a strong defense behind him, as missing bats isn’t a strength anymore. 

Don’t judge Peavy by what happened in the postseason, because small sample sizes can skew our opinions. Some people will tell you Clayton Kershaw isn’t the best pitcher in baseball. 

Peavy’s resume and performance speak for themselves. He’s a solid mid-rotation starter who can fill at least 180-200 innings for a team, which is a huge asset all 30 teams would love to have.

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Giants Show You Can Never Count Them Out in October in NLDS Game 1 Win

The San Francisco Giants did it again on Friday, winning another October game they weren’t supposed to. In a tightly contested Game 1 of the National League Division Series, the Giants beat the top-seeded Washington Nationals on the road, 3-2, and earned their ninth straight postseason victory overall, dating back to 2012.

With that, only four teams—and just two franchises—have won more playoff games in a row in Major League Baseball history:

And so the Giants are showing yet again that they can never be counted out in October.

Whether or not you buy into the whole #EvenYear voodoo they have going on, it sure feels like the Giants are going to follow up 2010 and 2012 with 2014, doesn’t it?

It felt that way during Friday’s win, especially considering San Francisco sent noted playoff goat Jake Peavy to the mound against Nationals stud Stephen Strasburg.

But despite this…

…this happened:

Having come over in a July trade from the Boston Red Sox, the 33-year-old Peavy finally got his first October win in his sixth postseason start and 13th season in the majors.

The righty worked the corners of the strike zone up and down, left and right, allowing just five baserunners (two hits and three walks) in 5.2 scoreless innings, tying the longest outing of his playoff career.

San Francisco’s lineup was far from a force, but it dinked and dunked Strasburg to death in his first-ever October outing, managing eight hits off him—all singles—many of which were back up the middle and of the seeing-eye variety.

The Giants put together a good plan of attack and proceeded to execute it with pesky at-bats, which is how they were able to be the first team to notch an earned run off Strasburg, who struck out just two, since Sept. 10.

And so despite this…

…this happened:

Meanwhile, San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy was ready to go to the bullpen as Peavy started to tire in the sixth inning when he gave up a leadoff double and a walk in the span of four batters. Good call, especially given Peavy’s tendency to get knocked around on his third time through the order this year.

In came lefty specialist Javier Lopez to face Adam LaRoche, who posted a .620 OPS against same-sided pitchers in 2014. Except Lopez, who held lefty hitters to a .538 OPS and walked just six in 108 plate appearances this year, issued a free pass to the first baseman to load the bases with two outs. 

Getting the call? None other than 26-year-old rookie Hunter Strickland, a hard-throwing right-hander who had made his MLB debut only a month and two days ago.

Surely this had to be the reckoning, the turning of the tides, yes?

Up stepped Ian Desmond, and despite this…

…this happened:

Although he surrendered a pair of solo home runs in the bottom of the seventh—one an absolute mammoth third-deck blast by Bryce Harper—Strickland still turned the game over to left-hander Jeremy Affeldt, who polished off the frame to keep the Giants ahead.

The Nationals, of course, would get no closer, as the score finished just that way, 3-2, thanks to Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla, the former closer and his replacement.

As Romo said afterward, via Chris Haft of MLB.com:

I think we tapped into our postseason experience. There’s that little extra thing in our chemistry—that focus, that determination—that separates postseason games from regular-season games. Everything seems to matter in the playoffs. We’ve had our backs against the wall in tough environments against tough pitching and tough lineups. It enables us to stick together.

Now San Francisco heads into Saturday’s Game 2 in Washington having snatched home-field advantage. While struggling veteran Tim Hudson is on the hill, it almost feels like it doesn’t matter how he fares. Even if Hudson pitches like he has all second half (4.73 ERA, 1.45 WHIP), the Giants still could come up with a way to win.

And if they don’t? Well, it’s still no biggie: Ace Madison Bumgarner—he of the complete-game, four-hit shutout to defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates in Wednesday’s Wild Card Game—is all geared up for Game 3 back in San Francisco.

One way or another, it seems, even-yeared Octobers have a way of falling in the Giants’ favor.

Fellow Bleacher Report MLB Lead Writer Zachary D. Rymer shared a thought about the magical recipe:

Can it really be that simple? Not quite, because that’s taking credit away from the Giants themselves and what they managed to do in 2010 and 2012, and what they quite possibly could do in 2014.

But heck, they certainly make it seem that easy, don’t they?

It’s October, which means the Giants are showing yet again they can’t be counted out. They’re showing that despite all the doubters and the critics and the supposed-to’s, this is, in fact, happening.


Statistics are accurate through Oct. 3 and courtesy of MLB.comBaseball-Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.

To talk baseball or fantasy baseball, check in with me on Twitter: @JayCat11.

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