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Monday, March 21, 2011
Jake Peavy suffers possible setback

By Chad Dotson

Uh-oh. Bad news for Jake Peavy, and a single tear rolls down the cheek of everyone who remembers how brilliant Peavy was a few years ago:
The positive momentum surrounding Jake Peavy's recovery from surgery hit a snag Sunday as the Chicago White Sox shut down the right-handed pitcher with what is believed to be rotator cuff tendinitis.

Not only is Peavy out for his next spring start, Thursday against the Cubs, manager Ozzie Guillen is also saying the right-hander likely will miss the start of the season, which means a stint on the 15-day disabled list could be forthcoming.
Peavy
Perhaps I'm being overly pessimistic, but this isn't good, friends and neighbors. Peavy had appeared to be making pretty good progress after having surgery last July to repair a detached latissimus dorsi muscle (gesundheit). He threw 83 pitches in his last spring outing, and though we were never going to see the old Peavy again, the ace who dominated the National League from 2004 to 2009, he was on track to be Chicago's No. 5 starter.

The only positive to emerge here -- for those of us who love when this happens -- is that Peavy's manager, Ozzie Guillen, is on a rampage again:
"Believe me as long as I am the manager of this ballclub that is the last time he convinces me," Guillen said after Sunday's 9-7 defeat to the Dodgers. "I will make the call. I will have the power to let him go out or not. I know it sounds powerful but the last two times he didn't convince me, he convinced everybody he could go out there and perform and the next day we get bad news.

"I am the manager of [this] club and I was the guy who was against [him pitching Saturday], but he said he was fine and ready to pitch. I have full responsibility of players and at end of the day it's on my shoulders how people get hurt or not."

If Ozzie Guillen didn't exist, we'd have to invent him. I love that guy.

All joking aside, however, Guillen has a point -- though he took a circuitous route to get there. Peavy admitted to reporters that the shoulder problems had been bothering since at least his first spring start. For too long, the culture within baseball has encouraged players (especially pitchers) to play through pain. I can already hear the old-timers: rotator cuff? Bob Feller would have gone out to the mound, tossed nine innings of shutout baseball, then headed over to the Little League field to throw batting practice to 11-year-olds!

In this case, with a pitcher coming off surgery (though Peavy says the current issue is unrelated to the surgical procedure), seems like caution would have been a good path to take. Wow. I just agreed with Ozzie Guillen.

Still, we can be hopeful that this is nothing more than a minor setback. For his part, Peavy didn't even want to go that far, saying "I'm not going to sit here and call it a setback because we don't know what it is yet. But certainly things have slowed down."

In the meantime, it seems likely that Philip Humber (and not Chris Sale, who would be a better option) is in line to take the No. 5 spot in the White Sox's rotation.

Chad Dotson writes Redleg Nation, a blog about the Cincinnati Reds. Follow him on Twitter.